Category Archives: FEELS

The Journey to A Darker Shade of Magic.

Photo on 2-21-15 at 10.51 AM


You guys, the time has finally arrived.

A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC–my 8th novel, and the first in a brand new fantasy series with Tor–hits shelves this week.

I vividly remember pacing my front yard in the snow more than two years ago, telling my beta reader about this idea I had. It wasn’t even an idea. It was just a moment, a collision between two characters in an alley. That moment would go on to spawn four Londons, a system of magic, and a cast of strange, powerful, and ambitious deviants, and is Part V, Chapter V in the finished book.

I remember several months later, driving through Texas with Carrie Ryan and Beth Revis, telling them about this crazy idea I was working on, my first ever crack at full-on fantasy.

I remember sitting in a car in the middle of nowhere, telling my agent the project was broken, and that I didn’t know if I could fix it, let alone turn it in to my editor.

I remember my agent convincing me that it wasn’t broken, that the pitch alone still gave her chills, and that she would pry it from my fingers if she had to. I remember her telling my editor was brilliant, and that together we would make it everything it needed to be. And she was right.

I remember late-night emails with my intrepid editor, talking through everything from world-building to weapons, coats to invented languages. Last minute tweaks and changes, cover ideas and final art, and picking the knives at the top of each chapter. I remember reading the book for the final time and realizing that I was reading it as a reader, not the writer, and knowing that it was ready to go to print. I remember that shift from uncertainty to excitement.

So far, each of these moments has belonged to me, but now the book, and its future, belongs to you.

This book, as the dedication says, is for the one who dream of stranger worlds.

And I hope you enjoy it.


* * * * * * * *


If you’re looking for ways to support a book as it makes its way into the world, there are several things you can do.

–Obviously, if you’re able, you can buy it. This is the surest way to support a book, and an AUTHOR.

–Once you’ve read it, please consider leaving a review online, at B+N, Amazon, GR, etc. This is one of the easiest ways to make an impact, and it really does matter.

–Make sure your local store and library has it in! You can always ask, and you can request it.

–Talk it up to your friends, your family, your school, your workplace. Basically run through the streets shouting its name like a lost pet.

–If you love the book, check out the author’s backlist. If ADSOM if your first read of mine, check out VICIOUS, which just came out in paperback.

–If you love a book, spread the word online. Twitter. Tumblr. Instagram. Youtube. Interest and passion are contagious.

–A fun fact: there’s this theory called the 5 Touch Rule, which basically suggests that as consumers we interact with a product 5 times before purchasing it. I’m a firm believer in this when it comes to books. If you can be one of those touches, please do.


THE UNBOUND is finally HERE!

Hi, lovelies!!

The day has come! The Unbound is finally on shelves.

There was a point in this book’s life when I feared that would never happen.

It’s been such an uphill journey, and I’m just so relieved to have made it here, to the point where the book stops being mine and starts being yours.

From the loss of an editor and in-house champion to a massive crisis of confidence and a sense of creative purgatory, this book has put me through the ringer, but I’m so proud of where it ended up, and I so hope you enjoy it <333

In the vlog I talk about the roller coaster of emotions, and reveal the giveaway winners!! And most of all, I say thank you (I will never say enough thank yous).

Oh and my dog totally hijacks my moment of feels.

Thank you, as ever, for being my rock, my walls, my cheering section. ❤

VICIOUS IS HERE. (And I have so many feelings.)

It’s a surreal thing, the day when a book ceases to belong to YOU, and instead belongs to EVERYONE.

It’s a happy, sad, strange, wonderful, surreal thing.

And today, I experienced that mix of emotions for the third time, when VICIOUS officially hit shelves.

I’m supposed to let go now, to give my morbid little book up to the world and step away, and tug my skin–everything I pulled away to write and rewrite–back together, nice and tight around me.

I have never been so ready, and so not ready at the same time.

I am ready to share, of course. But not to let go. And I don’t think I ever will be, not with this book.

I miss my characters. I miss my world. And I’m so excited that other people can now discover it, and in a way I will be able rediscover it through them. Rediscover what it feels like, meeting Victor and Eli, Syd and Serena. The rush, the thrill, the shock, the surprise.

VICIOUS is the only book I re-visit, not as an author, but as a reader. Like saying hello to friends. For nearly three years, they were my friends. Still are, somewhere in my head.

Confession: on bad days, I write new scenes. Ones that take place after VICIOUS, little fragments of a story I hope one day I get to share. For now, it’s mine. But then again, so was VICIOUS 😉

Anyway, VICIOUS is out there now. I hope you’ll go and find it. Give a read. Say hello to my old friends. Maybe they’ll become yours, too.

All my love.




Photo on 2013-09-05 at 10.30


VICIOUS IS NIGH!!! (and other things you should know)

Lovelies. Lovelies. I can’t even…

*breathes deeply, composes self*

VICIOUS comes out in 5 DAYS. As in, in 5 days, it will be everywhere. On shelves. On doorsteps. The whole nine yards.

In 5 days I will write a post with a lot of feelings (if you’ve not watched this vlog yet, it should serve as a good intro to the feels that will spill across this blog on Tuesday: ). But it’s not Tuesday yet, so we shall hold off on those feelings.

In the meantime, a few orders of business!

I’m getting ready to head to New Orleans (for the very first time) to participate in the SIBA (Southern Independent Booksellers Association) trade show! I can’t wait to look at graveyards and talk to awesome indies and read to them from VICIOUS (!) and eat beignets. I’m really, really ex

1. Author copies!



One day I will have enough author copies to build a throne.


I will be going to NYCC this year for both VICIOUS and THE ARCHIVED!

On Saturday, I’ll be on a pretty epic panel called ODE TO NERDS, but I will also have TWO in-booth signings, one for THE ARCHIVED and one for VICIOUS.

Yes, that’s right, on Friday I will sign THE ARCHIVED in Disney’s booth (10:30-11:30) and then VICIOUS in Tor’s booth (12-1) and you can come and get FREE COPIES OF BOTH and get them signed by me and such and it will be a blast. More details (such as time of day) to come on that front.

3. A new blurb!!!

I am so humbled to announce that VICIOUS picked up a NINTH blurb this week, from an absolute force:

“V.E. Schwab’s Vicious is the superhero novel I’ve been waiting for: fresh, merciless, and yes, vicious.”

—Mira Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Blackout


4. So VICIOUS is about to hit shelves. What does that mean? What can I do? How can I help?

This is something I will try and address more next week, but I wanted to say briefly now that a book release is 75% OMG AWESOME and 25% TERRIFYING and I might have actually gotten those statistics reversed.

So much work goes into a book–so much work went into THIS book–and the moment when you have to let go, when it ceases to be yours and becomes everyone’s, is utterly terrifying. All you can hope as an author is that people love it, and that they love it en talk about it, because we live in a word-of-mouth era. Talking about books sells books. One voice in one ear can multiply more than anything.

All I would ask as we head into next week is that, if you’re so inclined, you spread the word. Tell one person about VICIOUS. Hell, tell two! I wish I could explain how much power you have now.

Even when it seems like a book doesn’t need your help, like it has the voice and the steam it needs, I cannot stress enough that a book is like a coal-driven train, in that it needs constant fuel.

I’ve felt incredibly blessed by the voice given to VICIOUS so far, both by PW, and by my amazing blurbers, and by you. But it’s still incredibly scary, and you live in this place of “blow on the coals! Blow on the coals!” So if you have even a single breath of air to spare, it would mean the world if you could use it to tell someone about VICIOUS 🙂

Until next week, lovelies!

In which our intrepid heroine is strapped to a roller coaster.

Hi there, lovelies.

Only a few days into September, and it’s already proving to be a month of immense highs and lows.

Lows first. We lost our beloved golden, Sammy, yesterday. This came after losing Mitzi only a short number of weeks ago. Sammy was 13. Mitzi was 18. They defined my childhood, and their absence is immense. It’s heartbreaking, going to the vet with a dog, and coming back with only a collar, and I’m trying to hold on to the good instead of the sad in this summer of loss.

But there is a lot of good to hold on to.

VICIOUS comes out in 18 days. I don’t even know how to mentally handle that. To be measuring in days instead of weeks or months makes my heart ache in a totally different way.

Four years ago–almost exactly–I sold my first book. Today, I got to take this picture:


Because today, I got to hold VICIOUS in its finished form. I don’t have the words (I suppose they are all in these books) to explain.

Photo on 2013-09-05 at 10.30

The entire back cover of VICIOUS is blurbs.


And Tor, which has been so amazing and supportive from the start, is running a giveaway on their website for TEN galleys of the book, each with trading cards, and if you’d like in, you only need comment HERE.

Another spot of good to hold on to: this week, VICIOUS was named an Amazon Best Book of the Month. Again, speechless. Totally speechless.

VICIOUS as Amazon Best Book

More cool/exciting/terrifying things are happening, but of course, I cannot talk about them yet. Of course. It is a tease, I know. I cannot tell you who I’ll be paneling with a NY Comic Con, though it’s insane. I cannot show you new covers, though I’ve seen them. I cannot talk about new book deals, though they exist. I cannot share awesome opportunities just yet. Not yet. Stick with me awhile. ❤

In the meantime, I have a book due Monday, and should probably get back to writing it, but as always, lovelies, I adore you. Thank you for riding the roller coaster with me.




Everyone who posts the trailer on their site/blog/facebook/twitter and comments below with a link will be entered to win a pre-order of the book and a set of trading cards (you’ll get one entry point for every place you post it).

A separate giveaway will run concurrently on Tumblr (here’s the post) so you have two separate chances to win!

Giveaways run until AUGUST 24TH.

8/24 UPDATE: HELLO! And congratulations to…CHRISTINA MARCH. I will send you an email about claiming your prize 🙂



OMG you guys.


It’s so completely different from the US cover, which I adore with fiery heart, but I love it so very, very much. It’s dark and punchy and movie poster glorious, and my main character, Victor, looks like an arrogant badass, which is essentially what he is and ngghhhhhhh.

I just.

I think the thing I like so much about these covers–the US and the UK–is that they are both clearly influenced by comic book culture, but in totally different ways. And that is just pretty damn cool.

ALSO! In case you didn’t hear my squees around the internet on Monday, VICIOUS GOT A PW STAR!!!!!!!!


“Schwab’s characters feel vital and real…In a genre that tends toward the flippant or pretentious, this is a rare superhero novel as epic and gripping as any classic comic.”

It’s my first starred review ever and I can’t stop smiling.

Seven countries. Nine cities. One month.

A month abroad goes something like this:

Home → Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland → Oslo, Norway
Oslo, Norway → Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland → London, England
London, England → Prague, Czech Republic
Prague, Czech Republic → Vienna, Austria
Vienna, Austria → Heidelberg, Germany
Heidelberg, Germany → Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg, France → Dover, England
Dover, England → York, England
York, England → Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland → Home

In photos, it looks something like this:







Oslo sculpture garden












In words…well, I don’t have any.

There are no words for how I felt standing by the bonfire on Calton Hill during the Beltane Festival in Edinburgh.

No words for walking a character’s steps in London.

No words for the view of Prague from the top of the palace steps, or Vienna’s museum quarter with its majestic architecture.

No words for the cozy streets of Heidelberg, tucked into the hills, or the trains gliding through familiar France, or the strange stillness of the grey English channel.

There are no words for those things. Or if there are, I haven’t found them. I haven’t wanted to, just yet.

But in the months leading up to the trip, and during the month abroad, I’ve been asked one question more than any other: WHY. Why did I do this? Surely there’s a reason. In truth, there are three.

And since I’ve only given little snippets of an answer, I thought I would take the time to try and explain.

1. Wander.

If you’ve followed the blog for more than a month or two, you know I have wings tattooed behind my anklebones, both as a nod to Hermes and a reference to my persistent wanderlust. I have a very, very hard time sitting still. It makes me feel static and small in the worst way. Moving, experiencing, making wrong turns and right turns and seeing the world, it makes me happy. Much happier than buying clothes or shoes or a house or whatever else people use money for. I’m lucky in that right now I only have to worry about supporting myself, so I have the freedom to (scrimp and save and budget and plan to use) my resources for travel. Besides, I subscribe to the adage that you can’t write about life if you spend life writing. Yes, I spend a vast, vast amount of time writing, but I would rather do it on a boat or a train or tucked in the corner of a foreign cafe than sitting at my kitchen counter (though incidentally, after a month abroad, I am sooooo looking forward to my counter).

2. Wonder.

I’ve been thinking about moving to Scotland. Yes, really. One of the best things about my job—one day I will do an honest post about the pros and cons because both are manifold but today is not that day—is the geographic freedom it affords. I don’t have to live in a specific place in order to write books. Two years ago I moved to England for three months and lived in a shed in someone’s back yard (it was all I could afford) while writing THE ARCHIVED simply because I wanted a change of scenery. As a full-time author (a title I hold onto by writing multiple books a year, and one I don’t anticipate to last forever), and one without a husband/S.O/children, I can truly take advantage of the lack of locational confines. So I do. I first visited Scotland a couple years ago, and fell instantly in love. I wanted to confirm that I still felt that love, and I do.

3. Words.

The first two weeks of the trip, which were spent in Scotland with an author friend, were purely for fun (though I wrote a short story, a proposal, and more than 10k of a book, so, I mean, productive fun), the entire second half of the month abroad was actually a research trip for a new book. It took a great deal of careful planning and budgeting, and I’ll likely be spending the rest of the summer eating ramen, but it’s been totally worth it. As for the project itself, the only thing I’ve said about it, and the only thing I will say until it’s written, is that it’s about a twisted love affair between a French girl and the devil. It’s set largely in present-day Brooklyn, but the story is spread over three centuries in Europe, so…yeah.

That’s why I went to Europe.

I wanted to see things.

I wanted to try things.

I wanted to breathe and eat and drink and feel inspired.

I wanted to live in the future and look at the past and I wanted to jot notes on every scrap of paper I could find and feel breathless and remember that I love what I do.

And in two days, this weary little traveler will return home to her kitchen counter feeling all of those things and more.

And ready to write.

Scotland trips and VICIOUS things.

I’m writing this on my last full day in Scotland, trying not to feel heartsick and bonesad. Truthfully, lovelies, I meant to update along the way but I got drawn into the city, the adventure. The thing about living in the future (six hours ahead of my old time zone) is that the world begins to feel kind of far away. Which is wonderful, when you’re trying to write a book.

But I thought I’d give you a glimpse at the mischief we–myself + Rachel Hawkins, author extraordinaire/traveling companion–managed while here:

+ We took a metric ton of photos from our apartment because um look at the view:


+ We were thoroughly traumatized by the National Museum of Scotland, because it’s like walking into the internet. It is a natural history museum, a history museum, a cultural history museum, an art museum, and approx five other kinds of random ass museums PILED ON TOP OF ONE ANOTHER. And there was a clock with tortured people and it was scary. As Rachel and I now say, that museum happened TO us.

+ We had cocktails at the Balmoral (which is pretty much what you can afford if you decide to go to the Balmoral.

+ We attended Beltane, a pagan solstice ritual on Calton Hill, overlooking all of Edinburgh. We came to refer to Beltane as the Tits and Fire Festival, because, well…


+ We climbed Arthur’s Seat, a very, very high point looking out over the city. And then we took tea.

+ We went on a day-tour into the countryside and learned about William Wallace and bloody battles and lochs and such while listening to Scottish pop music.

+ We ate A LOT of food (seriously, we’ve been here for 14 days, and have not had a single. bad. meal. Good job, Edinburgh).

+ We bought wee heilan coos, AKA our new spirit animals:


+ We discovered a corner of the city that is dead quiet, and also probably costs more to live in than the combined sum of our lives.

+ We walked down to Leith, by the water, discovered we couldn’t actually get to the ocean, and went to the pub instead.

+ We discovered millionaire shortbread and these little caramel candies with chocolate centers that we CAN’T. STOP. EATING.

+ We went to Greyfriars–TWICE–and discovered first through experience and then through research that it’s one of the most haunted places in the world. This is the tomb of George Mackenzie, a recognized poltergeist:


You guys, you could FEEL THE CREEPY SH*T the moment you walked into the massive graveyard. We went in the first time knowing NOTHING about Greyfriar’s history, and had chills the whole time. Then we got home and looked it up, learned about its reputation, and promptly went back for more.

+ We hung out with the lovely Cat Clarke at a divine little bookstore near the university.

+ We discovered not one but two splendid little farmer’s markets and ate sausage rolls and crepes and can you see a pattern in this trip? FOOD.

+ We wrote at both Spoon and Elephant House, the two places where J.K. Rowling is said to have worked on Harry Potter.

+ We had an absolutely unforgettable time.

I have to be very honest, lovelies, and say I’m having a hard time letting go of this city. My bones are so very happy here. I’ve written a synopsis, 10k on my current project, designed cards, and finished a short story, all in two weeks. But there’s much more adventure to be had–I’m off to see a friend in Oslo, then set out on the research portion of this trip, to London, Prague, Vienna, Heidelberg, Strasbourg, Calais and York–and I know I’ll be back.

I’ll definitely be back.

But before I can come back, I have to come home for VICIOUS things! <–segue master right here.

Things are beginning to stir up in the VICIOUS world, lovelies!! We’re 4.5 months away from my twisted little comic book without pictures hitting shelves, and I’m getting bouncy.

In case you haven’t heard, I’m going to be at BEA later this month, signing galleys! I’ll be wandering the expo Thurs, Fri, Sat, but will be signing on Friday, May 31st, at Table 17, from 2-3pm. And you guys, these galleys, they are GORGEOUS, remember?

Photo on 2013-03-29 at 13.11

But not only can you get your hands on one of them! If you come to the signing, or find me during BEA, I will give you one of THESE:

trading card group final


A lot of you have wondered/mused/speculated how VICIOUS, my first adult novel, will differ from my YA. I’ve said that I think it’s as different as a book can be, while still being ME. But at last, you don’t have to take my word for it. You can take my words. has uploaded the first two chapters RIGHT HERE, and it would really mean the world to me if you’d click over and give it a look.

Here’s a little snippet for you:

Sydney eyed the grave, tightening her fingers on the wooden grip. Victor had already begun to dig.

“What if . . . ,” she said, swallowing, “. . . what if the other people accidentally wake up?”

“They won’t,” cooed Victor. “Just focus on this grave. Besides . . .” He looked up from his work. “Since when are you afraid of bodies?”

“I’m not,” she snapped back, too fast and with all the force of someone used to being the younger sibling. Which she was. Just not Victor’s.

“Look at it this way,” he teased, dumping a pile of dirt onto the grass. “If you do wake them up, they can’t go anywhere. Now dig.”

Onward and upward, lovelies.

Onward and upward.

Writing retreats, NASA tours, and a publishing moment that took my breath away.

My suitcase is sitting at my feet, still packed. Or rather, unpacked and then repacked so fast it feels like it simply stayed packed.

I just got back from a week in Texas, and I’m getting ready to leave tomorrow for several days in NYC (Teen Author Festival, details on the Appearances page), and for once in my life I wish I could sit still. A large part of that is because I’m working on a new book-shaped plaything, but I’ll get to that in my next post.

Today, a recap of Texas.


Texas was a trip broken into three chapters, every one of them wonderful.

It started out with a writers retreat. 21 authors, myself included, gathered in a house overlooking a river. For four and a half days we ate and drank and worked and chatted and had an all-around wonderful time. I find nothing more inspiring than being around other writers, especially those at various stages in the publication journey. This was my third year being part of this retreat, and it was incredibly surreal to go from being a publishing newbie to one of the “veterans” (I certainly don’t feel like a vet).

Even though I never got over the strangeness of that ever-changing dynamic, the trip was both grounding and uplifting and I only wish I’d taken more photos.

The next chapter was beyond cool.


As the retreat closed up shop, Carrie Ryan, Beth Revis and I drove to Houston. We’d been given an incredible opportunity, thanks to the amazing Kate (Ex Libris): to take a VIP tour of NASA. We were allowed to not only observe mission control in action (they were communicating directly with an astronaut on the ISS at the time!!) but also walk the floor of Apollo 13’s mission control, tour the Neutral Buoyancy Lab, and even go inside the full-scale replica of the ISS used in training.

I’ll be doing a full NASA post as soon as I get the CD of photos (we not only had our own guide, but our own photographer!) but suffice it to say, one of the coolest author perks EVER.

The final chapter of the Texas trip proved to be an amazing conclusion.

Carrie and Beth and I had a signing at Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston. It was my first Texas event ever, and I was over the moon.

But it wasn’t just the fabulous crowd, or even signing with my friends (which is always a blast), that made the experience. Sitting there, signing after the panel, I had a Moment. Moments (instants where you realize something is on the cusp of changing, or is changing, or has changed) are rare enough that I really stop and savor them.

What was my Moment?

It wasn’t that almost everyone in the front row had a copy of THE ARCHIVED in their lap. It wasn’t that the store sold out of my books (though that ties in). It was this: as a newer author, I’m quite accustomed to having a shorter signing line than my friends, most of whom are at least a generation ahead of me. Signing with the likes of Carrie and Beth, I was TOTALLY prepared to wait while they signed. God knows I’ve done that. Often. In the beginning it can make you feel silly or self-conscious, but you get used to it. I had.

But at the event, I wasn’t sitting there, waiting for Carrie and Beth (both of whom have full trilogies out) to finish. I kept signing. In fact, I only finished signing books a person or two before they did. And that may sound like a small thing, but in that moment it felt like such a big thing. It kind of took my breath away.

So often I’ve been the baby author tacked on to established authors’ events, and I’ve been so thankful, because that’s what a baby author needs, but it’s trained me to assume that people coming to those events weren’t coming to see ME. They were coming for the other authors, and if I was lucky, or a good enough speaker, I could woo them into trying out my books, too.

But at the event, some of the people in that audience came to see ME.

And there aren’t words, though I’ve used a good deal of them here, to describe that feeling.