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December 2010

Happy Holidays, everyone!

For the first time since I don’t know when, I actually forgot to write a monthly update for this site. I blame it on Facebook! Over the past year, I’ve devoted a lot of my online presence to time spent there. You’re welcome to join me. I check in regularly to answer readers’ questions, offer periodic giveaway contests, and share items I find interesting or entertaining.

And yes, cute pictures of my pets. I’m pretty sure that’s in the bylaws.

Once again, I don’t have much to report this month. I’m working on something, but it’s not yet ready to be unveiled. I always forget how much festive activity there is around the holidays, and it’s harder to make progress, especially on a new project that’s still finding its voice.

But that’s not entirely a bad thing! I recently read Eric Weiner’s The Geography of Bliss, which is a thoroughly engaging tale of, as the subtitle says, “One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World.” Unsurprisingly, the things that ultimately make us happy have less to do with geography than with intangibles like trust and hope and faith; and that faith doesn’t necessarily have to be religious in nature. Like Crash Davis in Bull Durham, you can believe in “…the small of a woman’s back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap, that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, that there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing AstroTurf and the designated hitter, the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.”

Apologies to the late Susan Sontag, whom I have not read, and to Ron Shelton for slightly misquoting his screenplay! But it’s good to be reminded this time of year, amid the hustle and bustle and the uncertainty of our still-ailing economy, to appreciate the things that bring happiness into our lives, whatever they may be. For me, that includes friends and family, my eclectic and colorful community, my loyal and passionate readers, and yes, good scotch.

No new additions to the galleries this month, just a photo of me posing with some local characters on the homepage. I hope this belated posting finds all of you happy and well, and that your holiday season is filled with warmth and wonder.


November 2010

Songs of Love and Death: All-Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love - Buy it on Amazon.comGood news! The long-awaited anthology Songs of Love and Death: All Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, comes out this month. As regular visitors may know, this is the book that contains the novella based on the romance between Anafiel Delaunay and Prince Rolande de la Courcel.

It is, of course, a tragedy.

It was a lot more challenging than I anticipated to incorporate the amount of backstory that the tale required in a 10,000 word novella, but I did my best! I hope that fans of the Kushiel series in general, and Delaunay in particular, will enjoy it.

There’s not a lot else to report. I’ve been doing a lot of research and creative mind-work regarding possible future projects, but nothing I’m ready to unveil at this point. Soon, I think. I’ve got a couple of chores to take care of before embarking on a big new venture… namely, the copyedit of Naamah’s Blessing, and the creation of a map for the same. I don’t have any problem keeping a map of my alternate-history geography in my head, but for some reason, when it comes to translating it onto paper, I struggle. A cartographer, I am not!

Nor am I a visual artist in general. It’s funny, but I actually have a lot more of a background in the visual arts than creative writing. As a little kid, I took art lessons every summer; ceramics and watercolor, mostly. I took art classes all through high school, and even won a prize or two. I continued to take art courses in college. But no matter how hard I tried, I could never perfectly execute whatever vision I had in mind.

I think that’s pretty true across the boards in the arts. Once one moves from conceptualizing to the process of creating, there are always difficulties and discrepancies. For me, a significant measure of an artist’s skill lies in how they cope with these issues, acknowledging the demands or limitations of the medium, allowing the work to take on a life of its own. In the visual arts, I could simply never reconcile myself to that truth, and I finally had to admit it to myself.

In writing, it’s different. Oh, I’m still pretty controlling. My plots don’t take unexpected turns. Minor characters are not allowed to hijack the storyline and demand more face time. But when I’m confronted with obstacles, when there’s some necessary deviation to the unwritten script in my head, I can adapt. I can allow the medium to be plastic, to bend and flow.

If only it were that easy in map-making..

Not a lot of additions to the galleries this month, but you can check out an innovative new piece in the Tattoo Gallery, as well as a picture in the Fan Art Gallery that asks the question, Melisande or Phèdre?

Truth be told, I don’t know!

October 2010

Maya playing soccerFarewell, summer!

It was a good one here in Michigan, and much appreciated after the cool, rainy summer we had last year. I spent a lot of time in the backyard playing “soccer” with the formerly pink dog Maya. At just over a year old, she has an insane amount of energy! I made it to the beach several times, and even spent one day body-surfing in the crashing waves on an inflatable raft, feeling like a kid again.

I also managed to meet my deadlines, delivering both the final edit of Naamah’s Blessing (due out in June 2011) and Saints Astray (due out in October 2011), which is the new title of the sequel to Santa Olivia.


One thing about late summer delivery dates, it makes printing manuscripts a challenge. As the old adage says, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” I don’t have air-conditioning. Now, this is by choice. I’m not fond of an air-conditioned environment unless the alternative is absolutely, positively sweltering. My house receives a nice balance of sun and shade, and it gets good cross-breezes. I have ceiling fans. There are only a few days of summer when I’d turn on the AC if I had it.

Inevitably, those are the days when I need to print, or miss my deadline. And I hate missing deadlines. So I fire up the printer, which is soon running hot, hot, hot. If I open a brand-new ream of paper, I can get a few hundred pages printed before they begin curling up into tight little tubes, shooting out faster than I can catch them. After I gather my tubular pages and put them back in order, I flatten them in batches all over the house, weighted down by various translations of my doorstopper books. Such is the glamorous life of an author!

It is true that I could take them to the nearest Kinkos or Staples or OfficeMax to be printed, but the thought of handing over a jump drive and entrusting an entire unpublished manuscript worth a fair bit of money to an underpaid staffer makes me a little paranoid. And I have a perfectly good printer… at least when it’s not laboring in heat and humidity.

So, tubular manuscripts it is.

Now at last I have a little downtime to catch my breath and think seriously about What Comes Next. I have a couple of ideas, but none I’m willing to discuss publicly yet. I may even take the opportunity to catch up on my pleasure reading, and see what others in the field are doing! And maybe, just maybe, my next project won’t have a delivery date scheduled during the dog days of summer.

To entertain you while I ponder, check out the Tattoo Gallery for some awesome new entries, and there are some lovely new pieces in the Fan Art Gallery, as well as an enchanting depiction of Phèdre’s diamond-spangled gown in the Fan Photo Gallery. Thanks, as always, to my readers for keeping things lively! Oh, and speaking of lively, the homepage features Maya in action.

Until next month, you can follow me on Facebook!

September 2010

Michigan MeadowOne edit down, one to go! I’ve delivered the revised manuscript for the sequel to Santa Olivia, now titledSaints Astray. And if you missed a chance to take part in the Rename that Novel contest… come join me on Facebook! Now, on to the edit of Naamah’s Curse.

Speaking of Facebook, I’ve been getting a lot of aspiring writer questions there. There’s truly very little I can add to the advice in my FAQ here on this site. Every professional author will say the same thing: Write, write, write. We say it because it’s true. It’s the only way to learn the craft, to learn what works for you. And I’m not the best person to ask, because other than one creative writing course 20+ years ago in college, I’m pretty much entirely self-taught as a writer. I’ve never taken part in a workshop, never been part of a critique group. I know those things do help many writers, and there are exercises one can do to hone your craft… I’m just not familiar with them.

In a similar vein, I know many writers use systems of flow charts, index cards, or organizational software to aid them in the creative process. I don’t have any experience with them. Maybe one day, when my head has become altogether too crowded, I’ll experiment with these tools. For now, I’ll stick with what works for me, and that’s just plain old writing, augmented by a lot of old-fashioned research. If I had any secret tips or methods, I’d be happy to share them! Truth is, I don’t.

Then there are the How to Get Published questions, to which I can only say, there’s a reason entire books are written on the topic! Back in the day, I used the most recent edition of Writers Market as my go-to resource (and I could usually find a copy in the reference section of my library). But that was a long time ago. After my own struggling writer years, I’ve been with the same literary agency since 1998. I no longer know who’s open to what kind of submission, or even what resources are best to consult regarding the literary marketplace.

Here’s an exception, though. One resource any aspiring writer, especially in F/SF, should know about, is Writer Beware. There are lots of scam artists out there eager to prey on your hopes and dreams. Writer Beware is dedicated to helping you avoid them – and providing a lot of good information and additional resources in the process.

And that’s all I know about that!

Lots of great new tattoos in the Gallery this month. And on the homepage, a vista of a Michigan meadow in late summer. Pretty, no?

August 2010

A late update for August! No excuses, I was just being lazy. I delivered the manuscript for Naamah’s Blessing, and took a few days off before turning to the edit of the Santa Olivia sequel. After a cold, rainy summer last year, we’re having some lovely weather here in Michigan, and I wanted to take advantage of it.

It’s also the season of bounty, and I’ve been taking advantage of that, too. Lots of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables. Here on the homepage is a salad I made with locally grown lettuce, roasted beets, free-range eggs, artisanal bread from a local bakery, goat cheese from a local creamery, and a homemade vinaigrette, served with a crisp French rosé. Until I went to France for the first time, I had no idea of the pleasures of a glass of chilled rosé on a hot summer day. Fifteen years later, I’m still grateful to the waiter who recommended it to me!

I’m psyched for tomato season, which is the only time of year I give myself permission to eat BLTs on a regular basis, and for sweet corn. We Midwesterners can get fanatic on the topic. Personally, I’m an advocate of steaming. To me, it’s the method that best preserves the texture and enhances the flavor. Boilers, roasters and grillers, feel free to dissent.

In unrelated news, I’ve begun watching Spartacus. With the recent spate of historical and fantasy series featuring lots of sex, violence and intrigue on cable channels, a lot of readers have asked if I think it’s possible the Kushiel books will ever be adapted in that medium. I remain dubious – a divinely masochistic courtesan-spy remains a tough sell, and I’ve still never seen a series that had the budget to do justice to a large-scale battle scene or featured great special effects. But here’s a thought! If you think it’s an awesome idea, don’t ask me – tell the networks!

There’s a new piece in the Tattoo Gallery this month, and some fun additions to the Fan Art Gallery, including custom-made Phèdre and Joscelin dolls. Thanks to reader Franziska, there’s now a compilation of all the cover art from various editions online… including a few I’ve never seen myself. And Author Magazine posted an interview filmed in Seattle this summer. I had fun doing it and I think the final result is quite good, although like anyone else, watching myself makes me self-conscious. I don’t really sound like that, do I?

Yeah, I guess I do. Enjoy!

July 2010

Sea PlaneWhew! With all the travel last month, this one snuck up on me. I feel like I haven’t had a chance to catch my breath!

At any rate, it was a good tour, and I enjoyed visiting British Columbia for the first time, with booksignings in Vancouver and Victoria. There’s never a lot of leisure time, but I did get to walk around both beautiful cities. I even managed to get lost in Stanley Park, until an aggressive raccoon chased me back the way I’d come. Since I’m often traveling on my own for long periods of time, I always carry a huge patent-leather purse filled with all manner of necessities – water, snacks, reading materials, an umbrella, a copy of my itinerary. Turns out, it’s also good for fending off raccoons!

Thanks, as always, to all the readers who turn out for these events, for the stories you share, for the thoughtful gifts, for assuring me the raccoons in Stanley Park are simply overly friendly and looking for a handout. I hope it was time well spent for each and every one of you! Especially you crazy road-trippers. For those of you wondering what you missed, here’s a link to a post on Suvudu with video coverage of the reading and signing in Seattle.

Now it’s back to writing! As I noted last month, I’ll be finishing up work on Naamah’s Blessing, and then turning around to edit the forthcoming sequel to Santa Olivia before taking a little downtime and figuring out the all-important question of what comes next… and maybe, just maybe, enjoying a bit of summer. I don’t have confirmed release dates for either book, but I’ll be sure to post them as soon as I do.

Up near the top of this page, I’ve added a permanent link to my author page on Facebook, where I’ll be posting more frequent updates, along with items of book-related interest, contest giveaways, and any other fun tidbits that pique my fancy. Please feel free to follow me there.

For something fun and completely different, check out Greenman Apothecary for a new line of Kushiel’s Dart-inspired soaps. I have no affiliation with the company, but the samples I’ve been given to try are lovely. There are a couple of new pieces in the Tattoo Gallery, and on the homepage, because it delighted my inner kid, the seaplane on which I flew into Victoria. It’s an awesome way to get an overview of the gorgeous scenery.

Enjoy the summer, and take the time to indulge your own inner kid!

June 2010

Naamah's Curse by Jacqueline Carey - Purchase through Amazon by clicking hereNaamah’s Curse is out! I’ve received reports that it’s shipping early, so if it’s not on the shelves in your bookstore, it will be soon. If you ordered a copy from The Signed Page, bear in mind that it won’t ship until after the signing on June 17th.

This is a busy month for me, as I’ll be leaving shortly for a quick book tour (see the Events column on the left for dates and venues), and I’ve only just returned from the Imaginales festival in Epinal, France. It was my first international convention and my first chance to meet fans outside of North America, and I’m happy to say it was a wonderful experience. I couldn’t have received a warmer welcome in the original Terre d’Ange! My only complaint is that thanks to the many rich, delicious meals that stretched out over 2-3 hours, despite walking or, as you can see, bicycling everywhere, I managed to gain weight in a very short time. That, and the fact that crusty French baguettes have temporarily spoiled me for any other kind of bread.

It was hard to believe it had been 15 years since my first trip to France, which inspired the setting of the Kushiel series. But it was a good opportunity to reflect on how much my life has changed during those years, and on how very, very fortunate I am to be able to make a living doing what I love. It felt appropriate to be there as I contemplate writing the ending of Naamah’s Blessing, bringing everything in life and literature around full circle. On my very last night in France, I even discovered a store selling Courcel cognac; one of those serendipitous events that feels like the universe is giving you a smile and a wink!

After I finish writing Naamah’s Blessing and wrap up promotion for Naamah’s Curse, I’ll be working on the sequel to Santa Olivia. And as for what comes next…. well, that remains to be seen! I have a few ideas, but I’ll need to step back and take a little downtime to let the creative process take place.

Jacqueline in Epinal, FranceAs always in closing, be sure to check out the Tattoo Gallery for numerous striking new additions, as well as a new offering in the Fan Art Gallery.

Happy reading!




May 2010

Big Pink - Click for a larger, more glorious view!Spring is well and truly sprung here in Michigan! I was hoping to have further information on my appearance at the Imaginales festival in Epinal, France at the end of this month, but I haven’t received details in time for this update. Hopefully it will be posted on the Imaginales site soon.

May and June will be busy months as I gear up for the release of Naamah’s Curse while trying to cram in as much work as I can on the last volume in the trilogy. Back in the dark ages of my struggling writer years, things were simpler. I wrote books and stories, sent them out, collected rejections, and kept on writing. Now, there are a lot more steps!

Mind you, I’m not complaining, and I wouldn’t go back to the old days; but it’s frustrating to have to interrupt my creative flow. I envy those authors who can write on the road and make good use of down-time alone in hotel rooms, working away on their laptops! Alas, I’m not one of them. I need the familiar surroundings of my messy study, my special chair and my desktop computer with the big ergonomic keyboard.

In the earliest struggling writer days, it was different. I could and did work anywhere, scribbling long-hand in an endless series of spiral-bound notebooks. Maybe some day, I’ll try it again, but for now, I’m spoiled! I like having my space, and technology that allows me to work at a much swifter pace.

Speaking of technology, after 20+ years, I bought a new television, upgrading from an antiquated little box to a big, glorious flat-screen. Hi-def, Blu-ray, DVR, surround sound system… it’s like graduating from an ox-cart to a Ferrari! For the first few weeks, we simply gazed at it in awe.

It’s a worthy investment, since movies are a good source of inspiration, and documentaries and educational programming can be great ways of doing research, both deliberately and serendipitously. Any time something strikes my fancy, I file it away in the back of my mind. It may be a particularly fine piece of acting filled with subtle nuance and emotional resonance that will inform a scene I’m working on. Or it may be a bizarre factoid, like the existence of snottites.

Thanks, BBC Earth! Some day, for some reason, I may need to write about a cave filled with gooey colonies of acid-dripping bacteria. You never know.

Once again, check out the Tattoo Gallery for some striking new additions. And in celebration of spring, I’ve posted a pic of one of my favorites trees, affectionately known as “Big Pink,” in blossom.

April 2010

Preorder signed copies of Naamah’s Curse at The Signed Page

Tugboat on the river in winterLots of updates this month! I’ve posted my attendance at the Imaginales Festival in Epinal, France and a variety of tour dates for the forthcoming Naamah’s Curse in the Events column to the left. Hopefully, I’ll have details to follow on the Imaginales and Chicago Tribune Lit Fest appearances; and you can check their official sites, too.

I’ve also posted the first chapter of Naamah’s Curse under Extras, below the Events column. It’s a lot of recap of the first volume, but at least it gives you a taste!

Two new venues this year; at last, some love for British Columbia! And a few familiar venues missing, too. Alas, so it goes. You can still order signed copies from The Signed Page through the link at the top. I’ll be signing there on June 17th; please note that copies will not ship until after that date, so you may see it in stores before you receive your copy.

A number of readers have written to ask about a sequel to Santa Olivia, which I’ve mentioned here before. Rest assured, Santitos at Large is still in the works, but it won’t be released until 2011. I’ll be sure to post a link when definitive information is available. Meanwhile, I’m still working hard on the third volume of the Naamah trilogy.

This trilogy covers a lot of territory. I’ve been thinking about cultural diversity in the genre after very belatedly reading some of the arguments in last year’s online “Racefail” debate about the lack of representation of people of color in science fiction and fantasy. Truly, I think the dearth is a shame. It can be intimidating to venture outside the comfort zone of the familiar. There’s always the fear of getting it wrong – and, yes, sometimes we do, despite our best efforts. But I find exploring different cultures well worth attempting, both for the richness it adds to the tapestry of story, and for those readers who so seldom find themselves represented in the genre they love.

Of course, I deal with a lot of cultures that are no longer existent. In some ways, it lessens the pressure; no one from the Carthaginian Empire or the Kingdom of Kush is going to call me on the carpet to account for myself. In other ways, it’s harder, because there’s often a limited amount of source material to draw on. Pretty much all I had to go on for my Picts was a list of king’s names and some visual artwork.

I was having a hard time wrapping my head around one particular culture in this current work-in-progress when I discovered they had a rich tradition of poetry. Reading translations of centuries-old poetry gave me a mental access point into certain practices which we contemporary folk would find abhorrent

So there’s a small hint about things to come! In the usual round-up, check out the Tattoo Gallery for several new additions, and a nice new piece in the Fan Art Gallery. On the homepage, I’m bidding a farewell to winter with a shot of a local tugboat, because… well, who doesn’t like tugboats?

March 2010

Ah, March! ‘Tis a grey, dismal time in Michigan; but at least it’s a good time to hole up and write, which is what I’ll be doing. Which is what I’ve been doing for many, many months.

I’m working on the third book in Moirin’s trilogy, tentatively titled Naamah’s Blessing. I thought I was being clever doing my upfront research earlier than usual on this one, especially last summer when I was summoned for jury duty and had many long hours of waiting. Alas, it turns out there is such a thing as being overly diligent! While it helped me flesh out some plot twists, I’m only just now reaching the sequence of the book where I need all those vivid details to bring a setting to life. I took notes, but the memories they’re meant to evoke have faded.

Oh, well! Live and learn. If I have to re-research, I have to re-research.

As you may have noted from the link atop the page, I’m collaborating with Shawn Speakman of The Signed Page to do a signing for Naamah’s Curse. Due to overwhelming demand, we had to limit the personalizations to 75 copies, which sold out quickly, but you can still preorder a signed-only copy. Please note that copies will not ship until after the signing! I don’t have a firm date, but it will be in mid-June.

Since The Signed Page is located in Seattle, this means I’ll also be doing live signing there, where the University Bookstore has already requested me. I don’t yet have a confirmed itinerary for the rest of the tour, but other cities under discussion include Chicago, Portland and Vancouver. I will post actual venues and dates as soon as they’re confirmed.

In other event news, I accepted an invitation to take part in the Imaginales festival in Epinal, France in May 2010. It will be exciting if this actually comes to pass; one always wonders about offers that seem too good to be true! Then I remember that these things tend to be fun, but a fair amount of work, too. No details yet, but I will post them as they become available.

And in other international news, Kushiel’s Dart was released in Portugal last month. Yay! I did an interview with Portuguese book blog Estante de Livros which you can read here.

Check out the Fan Art and Tattoo galleries for new entries, including a rare Cassiline-inspired tat! On the homepage, I’m featuring a lovely piece from a photo shoot that reader Shannon commissioned to show off her marque. Nice!

February 2010

Lamidi Olonade FakeyeA pensive post this month!

During the long years when I was a struggling, unpublished writer, my day job was working as the administrative assistant for the Art Department of Hope College. The best part of the job was the people I met there. I made a number of life-long friends among the students and faculty, and I met many wonderful artists through the gallery program.

Last month, I learned that one of the latter, Nigerian wood-sculptor Lamidi Olonade Fakeye, passed away in Ile-Ife.

The retrospective of his work, and the accompanying catalogue and autobiography, was the biggest project I worked on during my time at Hope. It was held during the fall of 1996, when our esteemed gallery director was on sabbatical, and I was filling in as interim director. Hope College’s administration was (and probably is) quite conservative and patriarchal in nature, and I wasn’t taken seriously in the role or acknowledged for overseeing what was a fairly massive endeavor. Before Lamidi’s arrival to serve as artist-in-residence during the exhibition, I was concerned that he might be offended to find a young woman of no particular status in charge of a retrospective of his life’s work.

Nothing could have been farther from the truth.

The master Nigerian wood-carver, named a UNESCO Living Human Treasure prior to his death, was unfailingly gracious and appreciative. The memory of the credit and respect Lamidi accorded me for a job well done still warms my heart when I think of it. The memory of Lamidi greeting my startled, reticent parents with a beaming smile and an open-armed embrace still makes me smile.

Lamidi Fakeye touched many lives during his long and illustrious career. For me, the encounter is a reminder that to be great-hearted and generous of spirit means always according people the respect they’re due. It is also a reminder that wherever we go, we are unwitting ambassadors. Lamidi was a devout Muslim, and I’m glad that his was one of the first faces of Islam I came to know well, embodying the tenets of all that’s best in his faith.

To my regret, I was unable to see Lamidi on his last visit to the U.S., but I’m told he asked about me, and was delighted to hear of my success as an author. I wouldn’t have expected anything less from him. And I hope that I’m able to honor his memory by conducting myself with half as much grace throughout the course of my own career.

In the usual book-art-related round-up, check out the Fan Photo and Tattoo galleries for more new additions. Artists and art afficianados will want to visit new site Night’s Doorstep, dedicated to creative work inspired by Kushiel’s Legacy.

January 2010

Happy New Year to all!

It’s been a challenging year, and I have to admit I’m glad to see the last of this one. The year 2009 will not go down as one of my favorites. This was a year filled with disruptions, beginning with a catastrophic computer meltdown, followed by an ongoing construction project that resulted in weeks and weeks of screeching saws and pounding nails several feet from my office. And then as regular visitors know, I lost my loyal companion of 14 years, my dog Elaine.

All of that, well… sucked.

On a happier note, the endless construction resulted in a gorgeous new screen porch, and I’m glad we managed to replace the rickety old one before it collapsed and maimed someone. And in October, we adopted a 4-month-old rescued pitbull puppy named Maya, which presented a whole new set of challenges ranging from the usual puppy-training chores to an epic battle against a nasty case of mange.

For a while, the mange mites had the upper hand. In my brother’s words, the largely hairless and very pink Maya looked as though she’d been dipped in Nestle’s Strawberry Quik. But I’m happy to report that the pink dog is at last beginning to grow hair, and is no longer quite so pink. She’s an energetic, goofy little critter.

It was the first year in which I had two books come out in a single season, which was interesting. I still think of myself as a relative newcomer to the scene, but when I meet young adults in their mid- to late-twenties who tell me they grew up reading my books, I have to remind myself that it’s not so! And when I realize my backlist now contains ten titles, I wonder how the heck that happened.

Lots and lots of writing, basically; which is what I’ll be doing during these long winter months in Michigan. I’m putting a final polish on Santitos at Large, the sequel to Santa Olivia, which will come out some time in 2011. Naamah’s Curse comes out in June 2010, and I’m hard at work on the final volume in that trilogy. What comes next? Well, I have a few ideas percolating. Once I finish this current book, I’ll take a step back and let the process of Creative Darwinism take place in my subconscious.

I ventured into the world of Facebook this year, where I try to keep things lively and interesting. I’ve expanded into a few more foreign markets, notably France and Japan, with Portugal waiting in the wings. Here on the homepage, I’ve posted the cover of the first volume of Kushiel’s Chosen in Japan. While I realize it’s a cultural aesthetic, Blonde Phèdre never fails to startle me!

Just for fun, I launched a quest for a real-world analogue of joie. St. Germain’s elderflower liqueur looked like a strong contender based on the narrative of its marketing ploy, but I found it too sweet. One reader recommends mixing it with a good sipping tequila. That, I have yet to try.

Thanks, as always, to my readers! Your thoughtfulness and creativity is always a bright spot even in not-so-great times, and I appreciate all you’ve done to spread the word and convert new readers, allowing me to continue doing what I love for a living. No new tats this month, but there are a couple of new pieces in the Fan Art gallery, including a cool dragon-reflecting eye.

Here’s wishing all of you happiness, health and prosperity in 2010!