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Afterworlds Cover Revealed!

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Tomorrow (Friday) at about 2PM EST in the US, the cover of Afterworlds will be revealed on Entertainment Weekly’s web site!

UPDATE: IT HAS HAPPENED
HERE IS THE LINK
HERE IS THE COVER:

afterworlds_450

HOPE YOU LIKE IT. THE BOOKS COMES OUT SEP 23.

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I’ve already seen the cover, of course, and it’s quite awesome! The best thing is, it gets better once you’ve read the book. Like, there are meanings in this cover, which are subtle and cool.

The cover will appear on this blog shortly thereafter. Actually, it might be a couple of hours, because it’ll be super early here in New Zealand. (I saw a kiwi bird today. They are hilarious.)

Also tomorrow, but at 5PM EST, I’m doing an “Ask Me Anything” at Reddit, the front page of the internet. It’s most of the authors represented in Humble Bundle 3 (which you can still go buy right now by clicking here! Eleven books for $13!) So that’s me, Holly Black, Dia Reeves, Justine Larbalestier, and many more.

THIS ALREADY HAPPENED. CLICK HERE TO READ IT.

My day tomorrow will be busy, so I’m going to bed now. Here is a picture out my hotel window:

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Elves are everywhere.

Dalek Week Halfway Done!

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Dalek Week 2013, the Deviant Art celebration of all things Deryn and Alek, is about halfway over (depend ending on one’s timezone), and there are some lovely pieces up.

This work by Thisoneofmarvels is for the “Scotland” theme, and uses the Scottish and Austrian flags as motifs:

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Click on image to embiggen.

Very beautiful! I love how serious Deryn is.

There are many more to see, so head over to the Dalek Week 2013 folder to feast your eyes and leave your praise.

$1.99 Sale of Uglies and Leviathan Ebooks

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

News Flash: Uglies and Leviathan ebooks are on sale!
Both titles are $1.99 for all of December. ‘Snot bad.
(This applies to the USA only.)

ebooks

For Leviathan on Nook, click here.
For Uglies on Nook, click here.

For Leviathan on iBooks, click here.
For Uglies on iBooks, click here.

For Leviathan on Kindle, click here.
For Uglies on Kindle, click here.

And for Uglies on Kobo, click here. (Leviathan isn’t on sale on Kobo. Sorry!)

If the internets somehow brought you here with no knowledge of what these books are about, you can check them out here and here.

What the hell. I’m just going to throw in some laudatory quotes:

Leviathan
“Full of nonstop action, this steampunk adventure is sure to become a classic.”
School Library Journal

“When a book pursues you into your dreams, you can’t ignore it.”
Sunday Telegraph

“Wouldn’t it be cool if the First World War had been fought with genetically engineered mutant animals, against steam-powered walking machines? And the answer is, Yes, it would.”
The New York Times

Uglies
“A superb piece of popular art.”
New York Times

“This book, the first in a trilogy, asks engaging questions about the meaning of beauty, individuality, and betrayal. Highly recommended for SF fans or anyone who likes a good, thoughtful adventure.”
Kliatt (starred)

“With a beginning and ending that pack hefty punches, this introduction to a dystopic future promises an exciting series.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred)

NaNoWriMo

Monday, November 4th, 2013

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As you may have heard (in this interview or this one) my next book is about a young novelist. She’s eighteen, newly published and moved to New York City, and is a product of NaNoWriMo.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, NaNoWriMo is also known as National Novel Writing Month, and is a grand tradition in which a few hundred thousand people attempt to write a book in thirty days. (Actually, they try to write several hundred thousand books. They aren’t all working on the same one. Duh.)

Alas, I finished Afterworlds only a few weeks ago, so it won’t come out until next October. So for next NaNoWriMo, I intend to produce vast quantities of writing advice posts for all of you. (Wondrous altruism or clever marketing? You decide.) But how does that help you brave NaNoWriMoers this year?

It does not.

Luckily, back in 2009, Justine and I switched off in creating a whole month’s worth of writing advice posts, one each day. And unlike tech advice and TV criticism, writing advice never gets old. So here’s a handy set of links for your NaNoWriMoing edification.

The odd-numbered posts are mine, and the evens are Justine’s.

Best of luck to you all!

Nano Tip #1: Dialog Spine

NaNo Tip #2: The Zen of First (Zero) Drafts

NaNo Tip #3: Dialog Spine Analysis

NaNo Tip #4: Word Count is Not Everything

NaNo Tip #5: Write Your Way Out

NaNo Tip #6: Emergency Unstucking Techniques

NaNo Tip #7: Stealing from Chandler

NaNo Tip #8: Square Brackets

NaNo Tip #9: Meta Documents

NaNo Tip #10: Don’t Skip the Tricky Bits

NaNo Tip #11: Passages of Disbelief

NaNo Tip #12: Turn the Internet Off

NaNo Tip #13: Pace Charts

NaNo Tip #14: Procrastination Can Be Your Friend

NaNo Tip #15: Take the Day Off

NaNo Tip #16: Edit As You Go

NaNo Tip #17: Making Writing a Habit

NaNo Tip #18: Breaking with Stereotypes

NaNo Tip #19: Read Out Loud

NaNo Tip #20: Don’t Wait for the Muse to Strike

NaNo Tip #21: Writers Re-Read

NaNo Tip #22: Read Bad Books

NaNo Tip #23: Change Your Brain

NaNo Tip #24: Writing While White

NaNo Tip #25: Read it Backwards

NaNo Tip #26: Giving Thanks

NaNo Tip #27: Word Clouds

NaNo Tip #28: Take Care of Yourself

NaNo Tip #29: Finish Everything

NaNo Tip #30: Rewriting

Smoky Days, Interview

Friday, October 18th, 2013

The Blue Mountains have been on fire the last couple of days, which is definitely not a good thing for Sydney. Bushfires are a natural part of the cycle of nature in Australia, but it doesn’t usually start up before the first day of summer. (It’s the middle of spring down here.)

This bodes ill for the next few months (and for the next few centuries of climatic uncertainty).

Here’s what Sydney looked like from my terrace yesterday at four in the afternoon. Note that the sun was high:

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Click that image for the bigger, scarier version.

Justine and I are safe in the concrete jungle, of course, many kilometers away from the fire. But we’re still breathing it, and we’ve got friends whose homes are at risk.

On a lighter note, here’s an interview I did with Amy Stevenson of 4ZZZ Radio here in Australia. I talk about the Leviathan series a lot, but also about my next novel, Afterworlds.

My New Book in Word Cloud

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

I AM BACK. Yes, it’s been a while. But I’ve been writing, and a week ago I finished the first draft of my NEXT NOVEL. It is 135,000 words long, almost as long as Uglies and Pretties put together!

At the moment, this draft is with my agent and editor, and various novelist friends of mine. They’ll all have a gander and get back to me with comments and suggestions, and then there will be rewrites, copyedits, page proofs, sales meetings, cover designs, advanced reader copies, etc. Getting through all these stages means that Afterworlds will come out on October 28 September 23, 2014.

Yep. A year from now.

As always when I finish a book, I made a word cloud of Afterworlds. Word clouds take the most commonly occurring words in the text (omitting obvious ones like “the” and “was”) and size them by how often they appear.

I make these clouds partly to amuse and titillate you guys, and partly to make sure that there aren’t any overused words stinking up the joint. Check it out:

afterworlds word cloud

Okay, so what do we have here?

Darcy is the main character, so she’s the biggest word, naturally. Imogen is also key, as are Yamaraj and Lizzie. (Lizzie looks small to me, but her sections are in first person, so her name doesn’t appear as much!) Mindy, Kiralee, and Nisha are the other characters to appear, and they all seem about the right size. And yes, there is an important character that shows up as “mother”/”mom”.

Of the Dreaded Overused Words I look for, most aren’t there. No “eyebrows” or “frowned,” thank heavens. No “smiled” or “laughed.” But I will probably take a look at “looked” and “stared” when I do the rewrites. Looking ain’t a verb you need too much of.

What I mostly notice from this is how plain the words are. There’s very little sign of the genre of book I’ve written. To see what I mean, check out the word cloud of my last novel, Goliath:

Along with all the character names, this cloud has lots of words from the Leviathan milieu: “airship,” “Clanker,” “captain,” “cargo,” and “engines.” But you don’t have any of those in my new cloud. This is partly because Afterworlds is contemporary, and half of the book has no fantastic elements at all.

Indeed, this is a story told in relatively simple words. Notice “bad” and “little” in there, which make perfect sense. (Gotta read it to see why.) This makes sense, now that I see it revealed in the cloud. Must contemplate what it means, though. Certainly there’s a bit less world-building in Afterworlds than there was in the Leviathan series, but that makes sense for a stand-alone novel.

For more on the story of the book, check out this podcast with Sarah Wendell of
SBTB. It’s her interviewing me and Justine in Brisbane, and we discuss both our next-year books. Click here, then go to the bottom of that page and click the player controls to listen. Lots of me talking about the plot, which some might find a bit spoilery!

Enjoy. And be seeing you here more.

Melbourne and Brisbane Festivals

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

First of all, thanks to everyone who came to the Mortal Instruments viewing last night here in Sydney. It was a gas, and the screams were many. So. Many. Screams. Also, I got to sign someone’s Chicken McNuggets box, because global capitalism is global.

I have some cool Leviathan VR pictures to show you, but first here’s a post about my next two weeks. I’ll be at the Melbourne and Brisbane Writers Festivals, and hope that some of you will be too.

MELBOURNE WRITERS FESTIVAL
Click here to buy tickets.

Tuesday, 27 August
12:30 PM – 1:15 PM

ACMI Cinema 2
Federation Square
Corner Flinders and Swanston Streets
Science/Fiction
Participants: Scott Westerfeld
Chairperson: Rob James
Scott Westerfeld grew up surrounded by science and technology. It’s no wonder that his books – including Uglies, Leviathan, Midnighters and Peeps – are shaped by science. Find out what makes his stories tick, and how science can be a novelist’s best friend.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM

Deakin Edge, Fed Square Federation Square
Corner Flinders and Swanston Streets
The Steampunk World of Leviathan
Participants: Scott Westerfeld, Naomi O’Brien-D’Ambra
The Leviathan trilogy is set in a steampunk World War I. The books even look like they were published in 1914, when almost all books were illustrated, even books for adults. Tour this extraordinarily rich world with the perfect guide, author Scott Westerfeld.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013
12:30 PM – 1:15 PM

ACMI Cinema 2
Federation Square
Corner Flinders and Swanston Streets
Science Fiction, Science Fact
Participants: Scott Westerfeld, Michael Pryor
Chairperson: Andrew McDonald
Scott Westerfeld and Michael Pryor talk about the inventions and ideas first put forward in fiction, later proved to be fact – or wildly off the mark. Who is the better guide: scientist or novelist? Or does the future rely on both?

I’m also teaching a YA Writing masterclass, but that is sold out.

Again, click here to buy tickets.

BRISBANE WRITERS FESTIVAL
Click here for tickets.

Friday Sept 6th
8–11PM

Maiwar Green, State Library of Queensland
‘Juvenilia’
Featuring Kevin Kwan, Clementine Ford, Scott Westerfeld, Justine Larbalestier, Kimberley Freeman (Kim Wilkins), Stuart MacBride and Benjamin Law reading work they scribbled in their youth. A special ‘Juvenilia’ mixed tape set by Simon Reynolds will wrap up the night.
No ticket required.

Saturday Sept 7th
Sat 11:30AM–12:30PM

State Library of Queensland
‘Dystopias’
Scott Westerfeld and Max Barry talk with Marianne de Pierres about dystopias, being a teenager in a world that wants to kill you and our fascination with broken futures.
TICKETS $12-$16

Justine and I are teaching a YA class here too. Also sold out.

And I’m also doing two sessions in the kids section, but I think those are limited to schools. If I’m wrong about that, go here and check them out.

Also, you should check out Justine’s blog for her schedule for both festivals.

TMI Premier (updated!)

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

tmipremier

I’ll be blogging more about my trip soon, but first a note about the opening of the City of Bones movie next week. Justine and I will be hosting a first-night screening here in Sydney, which is put together by Kinokuniya Bookstore. There will also be a special greeting from Cassie herself, using some sort of magic. (Or possibly recording devices.)

So if you live in Sydney, and enjoy seeing movies on the first night with a screaming, rambunctious, has-read-the-book-several-times crowd, I suggest coming along.

Also, there’s a costume contest!

Here’s the event page on FB, so you can do all that FaceBooky stuff with it. And here are the details for non-FB types:

WHEN: Thursday, 22nd August at 6:30pm

WHERE: Event Cinemas, George Street, Sydney

DRESS: Prizes for best costume

COST: $18.50

Tickets are on sale now and are strictly limited. Purchases can be made in-store (at the cashier counter) or over the phone: 02 9262-7996.

Be there or be truant.

UPDATE

There’s an iTunes sale on the Levithan series audiobooks. From now until August 27, you can buy any of the three for $5.95. (I assume this is US iTunes store only.)

Download LEVIATHAN here.
Download BEHEMOTH here.
Download GOLIATH here.

These are really good, because Alan Cumming rocks.

My US Trip

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Justine and I have spent the last six weeks traveling in the US, which is why there have been zero postings here. Apologies! I realize that this hasn’t been a very bloggy year for me, but it has been a writey year, and which would you rather have, really?

Let me take you on a slideshow of various things I did while in the States:

Shortly after I first arrived, I was greeted by the sight of my latest publication on bookstore shelves. It’s an essay in a collection called Breakfast on Mars, edited by Rebecca Stern and Brad Wolfe. Basically, it’s a bunch of YA writers taking on the dreaded essay, many teen’s least favorite form of writing.

My essay, for reasons you might guess, is all about illustrations in books.

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If you’re a teacher or librarian, or anyone interested in non-fiction writing, you should check it out. If you ask me, Stern (a former fifth-grade English teacher) and Wolfe have helped fill a huge gap in the world of YA and middle-grade letters.

The next cool thing to happen on my trip was Manhattan Henge, a twice yearly astronomical event in which sundown lines up with the crosstown streets of Manhattan. It looks like this:

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What were the ancient peoples who built Manhattan trying to tell us about May 28 and July 12? We may never know.

The third thing I did was have an amazing dinner with respected private citizen Maureen Johnson and her English offsider, Oscar Gingersnort. This was at 11 Madison, and included crazy-ass dishes like this one:

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The courses were many and wondrous, and gave us the opportunity to plot the destruction of all other YA authors what to do at Leaky Con next year.

Nextly, I had a meeting with my excellent publishers about how to market my next book, Afterworlds. The ideas were many and wondrous, and will be revealed in due time. I can’t wait to see what you guys think of this book, which has been three years in the writing. (Because it’s really two books in one.)

Afterworlds will come out late next year, probably on October 28. (This date is a clue to the book’s subject matter! Spin on that one, fannish brains!)

One of my other projects for this trip was to start gathering my “papers,” all the editorial, artistic, and business flotsam that I’ve collected over the last two decades. I’ll be donating them to an as-yet-undetermined institute of higher learning as a huge tax dodge boon to future scholars.

The first step was to collect exactly one first printing of each of my foreign editions, a project which, even in its opening stages, ate my living room floor:

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I also found my very first (incomplete) novel, the least embarrassing page of which looks like this:

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And that’s all you will ever see of that novel, unless you travel to the as-yet-undetermined institute of higher learning personally. (It’ll be in the box with the big padlock encrusted with contact poison.)

I just realized that this piece of juvenilia is called Keeps, only one letter away from a somewhat more recent (and less appalling) novel of mine. I wonder what the ancient peoples who made me become a writer were trying to tell us about the letters “-eeps.”

In mid-July, Justine and I also had the great pleasure of teaching at Alpha, a residential sf, fantasy, and horror writing workshop for teenagers (basically, a week-and-a-half-long genre writing camp). The young writers and the staff there were smart, committed, and tremendously stylish, as you can see here:

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We had a great time. The awesomeness of the students makes me think we’ll do more teaching of this kind in the future. Watch this space for details.

Also, there was a waffle tower. I haz proof:

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From there, I traveled onward to San Diego Comic Con, the premier geekfest of our time. There I had many and wondrous business meetings, which you will see the fruits of soon right here. Also many costumes were witnessed. The best of which was Sharknado Hat:

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I also enjoyed this shirtless steampunk dinosaur hunter (based on a Greg Broadmoor comic, I think):

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Also witnessed were a cavalcade of capitalism aimed directly at the geek dollar, like these bathrobes:

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And these leggings:

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So let me get this straight. These are Dr Who-themed leggings in the style of van Gogh. In the words of Tally Youngblood, isn’t that one thing too many? (Nah. It’s probably one thing too few. And, yes, I know the reference from the show.)

After SDCC, Justine and I spent a week in LA, where various meetings were had. Some of these shall be the subject of my next blog post. But no, there is no fresh movie news of consequence. The usual movie options are afoot, but the feet in question are slow moving. Sorry to disappoint you. The wheel of Hollywood turns slowly, but it grinds exceedingly fine. (Not really. It usually grinds pretty crappily. But it does grind onward in the case of Uglies and Leviathan. We shall see.)

______

Okay, more about the trip in a week or so. I’ll be blogging here more often, because I’m almost done with Afterworlds. Thanks to all of you who’ve stuck around and enlivened the comments section while I’ve been writing.

Caio for now.

Melbourne Writers Festival

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

I have three appearances at MWF this August. If you’re in Melbourne, now might be a good time to book them. (The first appears to be sold out already.)

NOTE: The MWF brochure says that adults can only come to school events if they are accompanying a child. On the website, however, you can just buy an “Extra Adult” ticket alone. Or, you can just rent a kid. I’m not sure anyone will actually kick you out either way.

Tuesday 27 Aug 2013 at 12.30 pm
SCIENCE/FICTION

Scott Westerfeld grew up surrounded by science and technology. It’s no wonder that his books – including Uglies, Leviathan, Midnighters and Peeps – are shaped by science. Find out what makes his stories tick, and how science can be a novelist’s best friend.

Venue: ACMI Cinema 2
Code: 2603; Age: Year 6-9
Price: $7 (SOLD OUT)

Wednesday 28 Aug 2013 at 10.00 am
THE STEAMPUNK WORLD OF LEVIATHAN

The Leviathan trilogy is set in a steampunk World War I. The books even look like they were published in 1914, when almost all books were illustrated, even books for adults. Tour this extraordinarily rich world with the perfect guide, author Scott Westerfeld.

Venue: Deakin Edge
Code: 1701; Age: Year 5-8
Price: $7

Wednesday 28 Aug 2013 at 12.30 pm
SCIENCE FICTION SCIENCE FACT

Scott Westerfeld and Michael Pryor talk about the inventions and ideas first put forward in fiction, later proved to be fact – or wildly off the mark. Who is the better guide: scientist or novelist? Or does the future rely on both?

Venue: ACMI Cinema 2
Code: 2703; Age: Year 5-8
Price: $7

Click here for more info and to book tickets.

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The full-color art book for the Leviathan series, The Manual of Aeronautics, is out now!

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