My plans for 2023
Now that I’ve talked about what I got up to in 2022, it’s time to look forward into 2023. I’m incredibly excited about my plans for 2023. There’s quite a lot to come! Publication dates may shift a little, but I expect them to be fairly close to the following.
Coming out in 2023
This year, I’m alternating between a series of 1920s books (Mysterious Arts) and books dealing with the Second World War (the Land Mysteries series).
What I got up to in 2022
It is the time of year where a roundup of what I did seems useful for a variety of reasons. (Come back next week for what’s coming in 2023!)
What came out in 2022
I put out four novels, two novellas, and a substantial extra in 2022. That’s a lot! Links here that aren’t the title (in the header) will take you to my public wiki. There you can see more details about people and places.
Forged in Combat is out!
I’m delighted to share Forged in Combat, a prequel novella for the Mysterious Powers series. It’s the romance of Arthur and Melusina, parents of Roland in Carry On. It takes place mostly in 1882 in the Viceroy’s Palace in Calcutta.
Melusina is building her own career as mistress of warding and protection magics. Arthur is following the well-trod traditions of his family in the Army. When Melusina takes on an assignment to help with a tricky safe problem in the Viceroy’s office, they find themselves collaborating – and more than collaborating.
- Navigating social expectations
- Difficult colleagues
- A strategically useful bustle
- Reevaluating assumptions
- Lock picks
- Sparking passion
(This giveaway is over! It ended on Tuesday, December 13th, 2022. Thank you so much for everyone who joined us!)
Do you love jewellery? Do you know someone who does?
My dear friend Elise Matthesen is an amazing jewellery maker – and also a lover of my books. She’s offered a delightful giveaway, with a short timeframe. One lucky person will win an item from Elise’s shop (based on your answers to question 2).
[giveaway details removed]
More about Elise
Elise won the Hugo Award (a major award in the Science Fiction and Fantasy fandom community) as a Fan Artist in 2020. Her pieces are in the collections of quite a few authors, musicians, artists, and other creative folk. Many of us have a custom of picking up something from Elise for a major achievement in our creative lives.
If you’re a fan of Lois McMaster Bujold, as I am, Elise both designed Lois’s award pin collar and makes planet pendants similar to those referenced in the Vorkosigan books at one point.
Here’s a few samples of Elise’s previous work. Again, check out the shop for the current delights!
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Elise for more than 20 years, so as you might imagine, I have quite a few of her pieces by now!
The necessary giveaway details
By entering, you understand that if you are the winner, I will be sharing your email address with Elise to make arrangements about getting the piece you have won.
Elise ships regularly, but depending on where you are in the world, the piece may not make it to you in time for holiday gift-giving.
No reading of books or purchasing of anything is required, but we certainly hope you enjoy thinking about wonderful things to read and look at!
The naming of characters is a difficult matter
(Look, I couldn’t resist the T.S. Eliot reference, I’m only human.)
To be more serious, the names of characters are something I spend a lot of time thinking about. I got a great reader question about it this week, and that makes it a wonderful time to share some of how I do this.
To be honest, there’s a lot of staring at my list of names and sighing a lot. But I also have established patterns that help me sort out what I’m doing with the names.
(As a note, links to character names in this post will go to their WorldAnvil pages so you can see where they appear most easily.)
Where are you, online? (Looking at some social media options)
Hello! Given the world (and especially the Internet at the moment), it seems a good time for me to look at where I’m spending my time online in the authorial sense.
I’ve put together a survey form to ask some questions about what spaces you’d be interested in, so I can think about some options. I expect to get whatever new options I add set up by the end of December 2022 at the latest. (ETA, December 20th: Survey form now closed. Watch this blog space for an update on what we’re going to be trying!)
It’s completely anonymous unless you give me your email address at the very end. You can also use the contact form or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d rather do that.
Where I am right now online
I send out a newsletter on most Fridays. It has my latest news, a highlight of a book that’s been out for a bit, links to any blog posts I’ve made, and notes about the week’s writing. It also usually includes a couple of links I discovered while researching that week.
Twitter is the place where I’ve shared more flippant commentary on the writing process, often with some back and forth with Kiya, my friend and editor (and other half of my brain who makes my books so much better.) If you haven’t been following this bit of the news, I’m not sure how much longer that’s going to be viable. I’ve also shared links to new books there or other news.
I’ve really enjoyed some of the conversation with readers there, and seeing what they say, too, when they tag me in to the conversation.
Facebook is the place where I spend the least time, but it also gets announcements of new books and other related material.
Best Foot Forward is out!
Best Foot Forward is the one Kiya (my friend and editor) described as “M/M aroace/bi-allo-(incidentally polyam) enemies-to-it’s-complicated there-was-only-one-bed espionage and WWI trauma-healing romp”.
Best Foot Forward also contains:
- Vienna and Berlin in 1935
- The power of spring
- Healing and becoming who we were meant to be
- Love of music
- Egyptian theology
- Land magic and the good it can do
- Chosen family
Music turned out to be a big part of this book, so there’s an additional playlist and explanation of the music references. (It does contain spoilers for the book, but there’s a link in the author’s notes to remind you to go look and listen, or from the book page here on my website or on the authorial wiki.)
The Music of Best Foot Forward
Best Foot Forward is full of music. It’s not only full of music, but it gave me classical music back. There’s so much music that I’ve written a full explanation (complete with a playlist you can listen to). Learn more about the music in what I’ve been calling Best Ear Forward).
Note that it does contain spoilers for the book!
Keeping research notes
In a recent newsletter, I mentioned that working on Old As The Hills had let me test a research note model for more research-demanding fiction that’s working pretty well. (This is also in service to my contemplating a 1480s series set around the time of the Pact sometime down the road. I have a ton of background reading to do before I can even think about it, so no time soon.)
As I suspected, more than one reader was interested in how I set that up, so here’s a glimpse into my research notes. (Click through on the screenshots to see a full size version, but I’ve also described the contents in the text.)
Lords & Ladies: A guide to the land magic
Are you curious about the land magic? Carillon’s background? What it means to be a Lord in Albion?
Did you know there’s a new novella out? It’s my treat if you sign up for my newsletter. (Feel free to unsubscribe when you need to, of course. But I hope you’ll stick around, at least for an email or two that will let you get all the other treats I share with my newsletter subscribers.)
Ancient Trust is all about what happens when Geoffrey Carillon inherits the title on his brother’s death. It has quite a lot about the land magic customs at Ytene. It also led to some interesting questions from a reader.
(I love reader questions. Sometimes I haven’t settled on my final answer about something. But I’ll let you know if you ask something I can’t answer yet. Or if you ask something that’s too much of a spoiler for something that’s coming out in the future.)
It got me thinking, how do the Lords of Albion engage with the House of Lords? Is attending Westminster an additional responsibility for Carillion? Do Albion peerages result in having the right to sit in the House? And what about the women? How does the Land Magic recognise women?
These are great questions – and also some that I haven’t quite found the right place to get into text. Let’s take this one by one in an order that should help.