The Road So Far

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a week and a half since I took this photo:

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Toothless and I set out for London and the adventures of WorldCon.

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And we made it! But alas, our luggage did not.

Two days later we were reunited…

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…thank goodness, because then I got to meet Scott Lynch, and it would have been really unfortunate if I smelled like dirty laundry.

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While in London, my amazing editor Miriam and I went to the Harry Potter studio tour! And it was pretty much a religious experience.

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After many long days and late nights and wonderful people, it was time to set out for Edinburgh, my home for the next year. Mum flew in to help with the move (isn’t she the best?) and we set out on the magical train ride north.

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We got to the flat, which is in an adorable area of New Town (in the first day I made friends with a very old lady while taking out trash, a rescued greyhound in an art shop, and the woman who sold me a piece of chocolate cake, and all of them welcomed me to the neighborhood).

But as welcoming as everyone was, my room itself needed some serious work…

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And mum and I had only three days to turn the above into a homey nest of zen and creativity. So we set to work. And after trips to IKEA, H+M, Marks and Spencers, Jenner’s, BHS, a dozen small shops and a LOT of tea, the Edinburgh bedroom was born!

I’m planning to do an actual vlog in the next few days with a little tour of the flat and the neighborhood, as I’ve promised to keep my friends, family, and about half the internet appraised ;)

In the meantime, my new room…

 

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On anxiety, upheaval, and embracing change.

front porch

I’m sitting here on my front porch with a cup of tea and the beginnings of a book.

It is one of those impossible summer days made of July sky and October air. It is a perfect morning. And for the first time in months, I feel like I can breathe.

In two weeks, I will no longer be sitting on my front porch in Nashville. I’ll be in a conference center in London. A week later, I’ll be moving into my apartment in Edinburgh, wandering the streets of Old Town in search of tea and balance.

The last few months have been trying, to say the least. A plunge into the depths of anxiety rendered me unable to focus, to write, to live my life to the standard that I’ve always demanded of myself. I have always had one rule: to never let fear stop me from embracing change. And for the past few months, it has. I’ve wanted to shrink away from life, into safety, into the known. I looked at this move with dread, and if I’m being honest, there is still a measure of it there. But I’m not going to let that dread stop me. And that’s a sign that I’m finding my way back to myself. My stubborn, challenge-loving side is showing up again, and I’ve never been so happy to see it.

There is a line that shows up in most of my books. Said by Mackenzie Bishop’s father, or Aria Blue, or Delilah Bard (you will meet her soon).

It will be an adventure, they say. I say.

People keep asking me, “Are you ready?” and the answer is no. Of course not. I’m not sure how someone truly makes themselves ready for change. Change is something that happens to us, and even when we invite it, we are the reactive force, the recoil, the reverberation.

For the first time in my life, I’m not suffering from wanderlust. I’m not restless, eager to get away. I’d be perfectly happy to sit here on this front porch and write and breathe and be still. But change is coming. And I’m going to meet it with my chin up.

Because it’s going to be an adventure.

And if we didn’t have those, what would we have to write about?

My LonCon Schedule!

Hey lovelies! I just hit send on the DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC final pass pages *and* a revision of the third EVERYDAY ANGEL book, so feeling equal parts like nap and win.

Anyway, as many of you know, I’m moving to Scotland in less than a month for a grad school program*, but on the way in, I’m passing through London to participate in LonCon! If you’re on that side of the ocean, here’s where you can find me:


Titan Books signing at Forbidden Planet!

Wednesday 13th August, 6-7pm, details to come!


Fresh Beasts in YA

Thursday 15:00 – 16:30, Capital Suite 13 (ExCeL)

YA writers seem particularly keen on supernatural monsters. Have we mined out the traditional ones — the Vampires, demons and zombies? What fresh angles would breathe new afterlife into them? Or do we need a whole slew of fresh beasts to keep the reader’s interest?

Panelists: Oisin McGann, Tom Pollock, Sarah Rees Brennan, V. E. Schwab, Catherynne M. Valente

Doctor Who: Fandom for the Whole Family

Thursday 16:30 – 18:00, Capital Suite 10 (ExCeL)

Doctor Who is an international cult hit phenomenon that began when the First Doctor landed the TARDIS on British soil in the 1960s and captured the hearts and minds of a generation. The Doctor’s companions, from Susan to Adric, from Zoe to Amy, have often been teenagers or children, a surrogate ‘family’ that brings the family together as our Doctors regenerate into our children’s Doctors—generation after generation. What is it about Doctor Who that attracts younger fans? Why do they identify with a thousand year old Time Lord? What was the Doctor like when he was a teenager? Panelists discuss the ageless and timeless appeal of Doctor Who, especially among younger fans and their families.

Panelists: Jody Lynn Nye, S. J. Groenewegen, V. E. Schwab, Kathryn Sullivan, Simon Guerrier.

Reading: V. E. Schwab

Thursday 22:30 – 23:00, Capital Suite 13 (ExCeL)

Autographing 3 – V. E. Schwab

Saturday 16:30 – 18:00, Autographing Space (ExCeL)

*I am not panicking. I am not panicking. I am not panicking.

27! Some Birthday Thoughts.

Hello, lovelies!

So, today’s my 27th birthday, and as I’ve been remiss in posting I thought it was time to check in.

I won’t lie–26 was in many ways a rocky year. While I was fortunate enough to see both VICIOUS and THE UNBOUND hit shelves, I also dealt with setbacks, both professionally and personally. Some hurdles are now behind me, others I’m still fighting my way over.

And as happens with birthdays and major life changes, I’ve been thinking a lot lately, not only about where I’m going, but of how far I’ve come.

I’ve been in publishing for almost exactly 5 years now (I went on sub in May, and sold in September, so it depends which system of measurement you use). In those 5 years, I’ve been lucky enough to sell nearly a dozen books.

As an industry, we put so much expectation on debuts, but I have to say, I’m relieved to be on the other side of that particular hurdle. And, given publishing’s obsession with the new and shiny, I’m grateful to still be here, not only to my houses, but to my readers.

But it’s no surprise that I’m fighting burnout. These past couple of months have been particularly hard, and with an international move and graduate school looming, my batteries feel dangerously low. I feel like time is escaping through every crack, minutes from every hour and hours from every day. So any positive thoughts you can spare on that front would be appreciated. 

But as with all things, we press on. 27 is a new age, and a new year, and I’m hoping to make something of it. There are adventures to be had, stories to be written, books to be released into the world, Masters degrees to be pursued. And I promise to take you with me, wherever I go.

In the meantime, I go in search of cake and calm.

If you want to give me a birthday present, show THE ARCHIVED or VICIOUS some internet love today ;) And be kind to someone who might need it. 

VICIOUS movie news, ALA schedule, July signings, and a London meetup!

Hello, lovelies! I just got back from a couple weeks abroad, and have multiple books and a speech to write, so this is going to be brief, but I have things to share! * #1.

VICIOUS MOVIE UPDATE!

In case you missed the news, VICIOUS officially has its screenwriter!!! There are still many steps between here and the silver screen, but this is a vital one, and I’m SO excited to welcome rising star Alexander Felix to the VICIOUS team! Details HERE. * #2 I’m heading to ALA’s annual conference at the end of this month! I am so terrified excited! It’s my first time at ALA, and it’s going to be a doozy. I’m on an SFF panel with a legendary crew, doing signings for both VICIOUS and THE UNBOUND, and even giving a speech (!!!) at the Literary Tastes brunch hosted by RUSA, which named VICIOUS their best fantasy. If you’re coming to ALA, I hope you’ll track me down and say hello! My events: –In-booth signing of THE UNBOUND. Saturday, June 28th. 10:30AM–11:30AM. Disney*Hyperion Booth #0603. –SF panel. Saturday, June 28th. 4:30PM–5:30PM. Alongside Jo Walton, Douglas Preston, Terry Goodkind, Wen Spencer. –Literary Tastes brunch. Sunday, June 29th. 8:00AM–10:00AM. Alongside Tessa Dare, Daniel Brown, Christopher Buehlman. Room N258. –In-booth signing of VICIOUS. Sunday, June 29th. 11AM–11:30AM. Tor Booth #0532. * #3 I’m going to be doing a couple of group signings in July! One in St. Louis, and one in Memphis. These will be, as far as I know, the last events I do before heading overseas for a year, so if you’re in the vicinity, I hope you’ll come! Details: Thursday, July 17th. St. Louis, MO. Hosted by Left Bank Books. Time/Place TBA. The cast: Philip Siegel, Paula Stokes, Lindsay Cummings, Bethany Hagen, Heather Brewer, Cole Gibsen, Sarah Bromley, Lydia Kang, Victoria Schwab, Whitney Miller, Courtney Stevens. Friday, July 18th. Memphis, TN. The Booksellers at Laurelwood. 6pm. The cast: Philip Siegel, Paula Stokes, Lindsay Cummings, Robin Bridges, Victoria Schwab, Courtney Stevens, Lydia Kang, Whitney Miller. * #4 I’m going to be appearing at LonCon in London this August, and the lovely Daphne over at Winged Reviews thought it would be cool to put together a meet-up, since I’ve never done an event in the UK! The details are still being sorted, as I wait for my official con schedule, but if you’re interested in being part of the meet-up, contact Daphne (Twitter: @wingedreviews). * And now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go and write a scene in which a girl with a knife takes down an entire pirate ship.

Cover reveal: A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC!

Hey lovelies!!

I’m so very excited to finally share the cover and synopsis of my new fantasy series with Tor!!!

A Darker Shade final for Irene

 

From V.E. Schwab, the critically acclaimed author of Vicious, comes a new universe of daring adventure, thrilling power, and parallel Londons, beginning with A Darker Shade of Magic.

Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes—as such, he can choose where he lands.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, ruled by a mad King George.

Then there’s Red London, where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire.

White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne—a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones.

And once upon a time, there was Black London…but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see—a dangerous hobby, and one that has set him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations, who first robs him, then saves him from a dangerous enemy, and then forces him to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—and that is proving trickier than they hoped.

*

 

SQUEEEEEE.

For a full behind-the-scenes look at the evolution of the cover, click HERE.

 

 

Scatter-brained: a collection of snippets from the WIP file.

Hey, lovelies.

So I’m deep in a deadline cave–which I feel I shouldn’t even call a cave these days, just a default state–but my mind is always a dozen places, and my hands are always in a dozen projects, so I thought it might be fun to do a peak behind the curtain and post a snippet from each of them.

Disclaimer: Some of these projects might not become books. Some are things I’m just playing around with. Because of that, I’m not going to identify the source of each snippet. But some should be obvious ;)

 

#1.

The night Kate Harker decided to burn down the school chapel, she wasn’t angry, or drunk.

She was just desperate.

And in her defense, the chapel was empty. Burning it down was a last resort; she’d already broken a girl’s nose, smoked in the dormitories, cheated on her first exam, and verbally harassed the nuns. But no matter what she did, St. Agnes kept forgiving her. That was the problem with Catholic schools.

*

*

*

#2.

“Wesley, I need you to listen to me.”

“Why should I?”

“Because we’re a team. Because you’re my best friend—my partner—and because I can’t do this without you.”

 His eyes move feverishly over my face. “Mackenzie,” he says, my name little more than a breath. I lean in, hoping it’s recognition, but it’s too much to ask for. His brow furrows. “Whatever brought you to this, we’ll get through it. We’ll sort it out.”

My heart sinks. He’s trying to talk me down, like I’m a History, someone who might slip.

 *

*

*

#3.

Alucard slumped into his high-backed chair, the stolen crown slouched forward against his brow. The bounty glittered in the firelight, and his eyes shone, dark with drink, and in that moment he reminded her of Rhy, and of Kell, and yet of no one she’d ever met. A trickster god, face shifting in turns of light. He was dangerously charming, and Lila suspected he knew it.

“Tell me something.” His words had a slight drawl.

Lila raised a brow.

“Who was Delilah Bard before she came aboard my ship?”

*

*

*

#4. 

Eli Ever sat on the cot in isolation.

He wrapped his arms around himself, palms against ribs, fingers grazing the outside edges of the scars that traced his back. He ran a thumb over one of the lower lines, shuddering a little. He always did.

When he was young, and the scars were fresh, he tried to tell himself they looked like wings, the whip marks tracing out the feathers.

*

*

*

#5.

“Who do you think gave Joan of Arc her blessed sword, so that she could not be struck down?”

“But she was.”

“Not in battle.” Edric drew his fingertip around the glass’s rim. “Semantics may seem small, Addie, but the power of a deal is in its wording. She did not ask for the ability to keep hold of her weapon. Only the invincibility while wielding it. And even with her fate, I’d wager it was a fair trade.”

Addie shook her head. “I refuse to believe that Joan of Arc did a deal with the devil.”

Edric shrugged. “It’s possible she didn’t know. It’s possible that I let her believe I was something a little more…angelic? But deep down, I think she knew. Greatness requires sacrifice. Who you sacrifice to matters less than what you sacrifice for.”

On Making Time and Complicating Life on Purpose.

“How will you find the time?”

This has become the most asked question in my life. In exactly six months, I will move to the UK for a year, to do a Masters Program at the University of Edinburgh. It’s a crazy and terrifying and totally surreal thing to think about, and I’m very excited to have the opportunity.

But it’s got me thinking a lot about time, and the making of it (notice I don’t say ‘finding’ — I hate that phrase, ‘finding time’). Again and again and again I field a version of the question, “Why? Things are going so well for you! Why would you interrupt it? Why would you make your life more complicated? And how will you find the time?”

I don’t mind the question, exactly. But here’s my answer:

I’m a really strong believer that you expand to fill the time you have. You learn this the hard way: when you wake up fifteen minutes before a class, you discover that you can actually don clothes and sprint across campus in fourteen and a half. When you only have two hours a day to write, as I did in school–or as many do, stealing hours of time before their children wake or after they go to sleep–you discover just how focused you can be.

I have had the immense luxury for the last few years of being a full-time author. But so many people have writing careers without that luxury, some by necessity and some by choice. I believe there is room in life for writing, and room in life for more than writing. I actually believe it’s essential to make room in life for more than writing.

Imagine you can hold your work time in your hands (and let’s for the sake of argument assume you have two of them).

Now imagine that in one hand, you hold writing. In the other, you hold a job, or school, or both. Now let’s say you have the luxury to become a full-time writer, and you empty that non-writing hand. I don’t believe you should put writing in that second hand as well. In fact, for the vast majority of creative people, I don’t think you can. Or if you try, I don’t think you’ll end up with two hands’ worth of work to show for it. We have a creative capacity, and while that’s different for each person, I think it’s fairly constant for that person. A ceiling of efficiency, if you will. For me, personally, my creative capacity is roughly 3,000 words/day. I don’t enjoy writing more than that. My focus falls off, and so does my quality, and I know that about myself.

When I was in college, and stealing two hours in a coffee shop each night to write THE NEAR WITCH, I reached my creative capacity. These days, as a full-time writer, with 18 hours at my disposal instead of 2, I usually hit the same point. Yes, I get to fill the rest of the time doing a myriad of other authorly things, but the simple creative math of it is that my writing sits in one of my two hands, even when the other is free.

And even if someone can stretch themselves, push themselves, take up 8 or 10 or 18 hours of their day with writing, I don’t necessarily think they should. Even if burnout weren’t a factor, I believe that part of being a writer is finding things to write about, getting out in the world and absorbing new information and experiences.

So really, for the last few years, that’s what I’ve filled my other hand with. Movies and travel and books and research and chance and adventure and risk and wrong turns. Those are my true luxuries as a full-time author. For me, being a full-time author has allowed me neither stability nor comfort, but the ability to risk the second hand. Writing is one of the most important things in my life. It is woven into the fabric of who I am. But it cannot be the only thing. It shouldn’t be the only thing. I would not be a good writer if it were the only thing.

So “why would I complicate my life?”

Because life is for complicating.

It’s for living. It’s for taking wrong turns–and hopefully a few right ones. It’s for going on adventures, and learning new things, so that if the Archive turns out to be real, your History will be interesting enough to read ;)

And “how will I find time?”

I won’t. I’ll make it.

In which I can finally announce NEW BOOKS!!!!!!

“I’m not going to die,” she said. “Not till I’ve seen it.”
“Seen what?”
Her smiled widened. “Everything.”

~A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC

You guyssssssssss.

I’ve been waiting to write this post for MONTHS. Like, 8 months, to be exact.

I come with NEWS! Of the BOOK variety!! This just ran in Publisher’s Weekly:

PWnews

*FLAIL*

I started writing ADSOM a little more than a year ago. It all started with the image of a  young man walking through a wall and colliding with a girl. He was wounded and fleeing, with something very dangerous in his possession, and she was a pickpocket, and instantly stole the thing he was fleeing with. That was the seed, and a year later I’m so excited to announce that the book, now known as A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC will be the first in a new fantasy series at Tor!

I’ve been teasing this book online for AGES now–this is “pirates, thieves, and sadist kings”–and I’m so excited to finally shove this book out of the shadows and into the light!

And even more exciting? A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC is DONE! It went off to copyedits a week or so ago, and right now it’s scheduled to release early next year! Somewhere between January and March, we’re still nailing things down, but that is soon!

A short list of things in ADSOM:

–Magic

–Cross-dressing thieves

–(Aspiring) pirates

–Londons (plural)

–Sadistic kings (and queens)

–A royal who is equal parts Prince Harry and Jack Harkness

–More magic (blood magic, elemental magic, bad magic, etc. etc.)

–Epic magicky fights scenes

–Angst!

–And coats with more than two sides.

I thoughts it might be fun to take a short stroll through the life of ADSOM so far (through the eyes of Twitter).

The first time I worked up the nerves to post a snippet:

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The first tweets I made after ADSOM sold to Tor:

ADSOMteaseADSOMorigin

In the throes of revisions:

ADSOMteaser2ADSOMteaser5

With the end of revisions in sight!

ADSOMdone

And now I suppose I better start working on the sequel!!

Grab THE ARCHIVED for only $0.99!

Hey lovelies!

I’m in LA, getting ready to do an event at the LAPL with five AMAZING ladies (Gretchen McNeil, Margaret Stohl, Anna Carey, Robin Lafevers, Mel de la Cruz) but I wanted to let you know about something AWESOME that’s going on right now.

ARCHIVED99cents

The folks at Disney*Hyperion have dropped the price of the ebook across ALL platforms to $0.99, but only for a few days.

$0.99.

That’s less than a cup of cheap coffee. Less than the change in most pockets or purses. And you can use it to grab the whole book (*and* the first chapter of the second).

If you’ve been on the fence, holding out, or just haven’t gotten around to trying out this series and you want to (or if you just want to show support and pick it up in another media), this is your chance!

And I hope you’ll spread the word. To be honest, I’ve already been completely overwhelmed by the response. The deal went live yesterday and as of my typing this, the kindle version is ranked #153, and the nook is ranked #56. I am so grateful, and simply hope that this promotion helps more people to discover a series I care about so very much.

Links for USA:

KINDLE.

NOOK.

KOBO.

Link for Canada:

ITUNES.

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