Monthly Archives: May 2012

Countdown to Launch (& another giveaway)

This is it, my lovelies!! In exactly one week, Shadow and Bone will be on shelves and I will be heading out on the Fierce Reads tour! Prepare yourselves, America.

Author Jenn Rush’s Alternate Cover for Roguish featuring the Darkling

But before we get crazy, let’s tie up some loose ends.

1. Big thanks to all who entered the Title Bout Giveaway! (UPDATE: We have a winner! Congrats to @HippieLouise!) Also, apologies. I’ve been swamped with pre-launch craziness and haven’t had time to respond properly to all of the kind comments about Shadow and Bone and the new series titles, but I just want to say how much they meant to me. THANK YOU.

2. If you didn’t win, pop over to Jenny Martin’s blog for your chance at an INSANE Ravka-themed prize pack. Fancy soaps! Lux nail polish! A B&N gift card and an ARC of Shadow and Bone! So many treats! (Seriously, I wonder if I can enter under a pseudonym. I want those polishes.)

3. RAFFLE UPDATE: Books of Wonder has sold out of the posters of Keith Thompson’s map, BUT if you pre-order this week, you’ll get a SIGNED copy of Shadow and Bone AND you’ll be entered to win one of 20 extra posters.

I think that’s all of our business. While I’m traveling, I’ll be taking a little break from posting here, but I’ll be stopping by some wonderful US and UK blogs on the official blog tour. We’ll have Grisha beauty tips, kefta style, playlists, cocktail recipes, plus posts on fantasy and world building, AND some very cool new Grisha art! You should be well and truly sick of me by month’s end 😉



Filed under The Violet Hour, Writing

Title Bout! (giveaway)

Two things to celebrate on the blog today:

1. In just two weeks (+ one day), Shadow and Bone will be on the shelves! I’m thrilled! Giddy! Occasionally nauseous!

2. I get to reveal the titles of Books 2 and 3 of the Grisha Trilogy! As I mentioned in my recent post at Pub(lishing)Crawl, finding the right title can be a long, occasionally befuddling process. But this time? Everything just seemed to fall into place.

To celebrate, I’m giving away a signed, PERSONALIZED copy of Shadow and Bone, and a set of Grisha buttons (including one limited edition Darkling button). To enter, just leave a comment below– and yes, this giveaway is INTERNATIONAL!  So, without further ado…





I hope you guys like them as much as I do!

Don’t forget to leave a comment, and for an extra entry, tweet about the contest using #Grisha. (Contest closes on 5/28.) THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED!! WINNER TO BE ANNOUNCED 5/29!


Filed under Writing

International woots!

Recently, I got to announce the lovely, mind-boggling news that Shadow and Bone had been included on the Indie Next List and among ABA’s New Voices Titles. But now, I require more trumpets– cue fanfare!

The Grisha Trilogy has sold foreign rights to Hidra in Spain and Könyvmolyképző in Hungary! This means the series will be available in the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Greece, Poland, Brazil, and now Hungary and Spain!

Also, one last reminder! Books of Wonder still has a few SIGNED COPIES of Shadow and Bone available for pre-order. The shipping is steep, but while supplies last, you’ll get Grisha buttons and a 16″ x 20″ poster of Keith Thompson’s map of Ravka. Plus, you’ll be supporting a great independent bookstore!


Filed under The Violet Hour

An Interview with Artist Keith Thompson

Keith’s Map of Ravka

As some of you know, there are now a limited number of signed copies of Shadow and Bone available for pre-order at Books of Wonder. The shipping is steep, but while supplies last, you’ll get Grisha buttons and a 16″ x 20″ poster of Keith Thompson’s map of Ravka. Plus, you’ll be supporting a great independent bookstore!

Recently, Keith and I had a chance to chat about how he works and how he approached this project.

LB: Keith, first I need to tell you how honored I am to have your artwork in Shadow and Bone. I first came across your work in Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan and I’ve been a fan ever since. When my editor told me you would be the person to bring Ravka to life, I nearly keeled over.

KT: Thank you, it was a pleasure to contribute to the world of Shadow and Bone!

Grand Map from Leviathan

LB: Now that we have the fangirl freakout covered, can you tell me a bit about how you start a project and how you first approached creating the map of Ravka?

KT: First I started by going through my own map collection.  Knowing the general equivalent timeline and type of cultural setting meant that I was already keeping to a specific selection of maps and artworks.

After steeping myself in those real world analogues I filtered everything through my own aesthetic and vision and of course tried to instill in it your own visions of the world.

Ravkan Double Eagle

LB: Oh wow. I’d love to see that map collection. Once you got into it, what was the biggest challenge in depicting Ravka?

KT: Maps are fundamentally comprised of icons, that presents its own unique challenge. They’re also like props or imagined artifacts from within the world they’re depicting. This multi-layering is challenging in a singular project where there isn’t the time or resources to explore and establish the new culture that the map is supposed to be a part of.  I suppose it could be interesting to imply the map is created by an explorer from another culture to work with a freer base, but that would still introduce its own layering complications.

LB: It’s conveying so much more than geography, and in a secondary world, that can get really touchy. Particularly when you have an obsessive author on your back. All of our communication on the project was done through the publisher, but I know the back and forth on a collaboration like this must be frustrating sometimes. Was there any point where you wanted to punch me in the face?

KT: Ha, as long as the artwork doesn’t get too damaged by the process I can keep going!  I try to avoid talking about any projects that get ruined.  If people are happy with how the art turned out that’s great, but I try not to dwell on wrecked art and move on to the next project.


LB: Then I’m glad you’re still talking to me. What part of the map did you most enjoy working on?

KT: Probably the Unsea. It really is the focus of the map. It’s like a manifest act of violence on a piece of cartography.  That’s a fun thing to present as something which obviously must be crossed by the protagonists.

LB: I have it on good authority that your volcra are already giving people nightmares. (Well done, I say.) Your work has such a unique sensibility– beautiful and strange, sometimes disquieting. Who inspired you when you were younger and are there any artists we should have our eye on now?

KT: I grew up with a large amount of books in the house, including many art books.  We also went to the library regularly.  I’ve been in love with art from every point in history and culture before World War I.  A key favorite since my earliest years of course is Bosch. I spend a lot of time seeking out inspiration, and try to discover a new influential artist at least once a week.

LB: And when you’re working, what is a typical day like?

KT: My schedule tends to vary wildly on the type of project.  Sometimes I’ll work nonstop for days and then rest.  Often with movie and game work I stick to a regular daily schedule in whatever time zone the project is in.  That can still often slip into long nights.  I always find that the best ideas and the most natural flow comes to me in that dead zone when I should be finished and resting.

LB: Do you listen to music when you work?

KT: I often have music on. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Max Richter and Kurt Weill.

Detail from the True Sea

LB: Weill makes me a little squirrely, but I like to listen to Max Richter when I’m drafting. Do you use a tablet or are you a pen and paper kind of guy?

KT: I work in graphite and then digitally. Black and white work will mostly be traditional and the digital stage is for colour glazes.

LB: What’s up next for you?

KT: I’m currently designing a new video game that I am unfortunately not allowed to name at the moment.

LB: Mysterious! Between you and the trailers for Assassin’s Creed, I am sorely tempted to take up gaming. Last question, if you were recruited into the Second Army, which Grisha Order would you be?

KT: I’d have to join the Durasts.  It’s nice to know that even if they’re at the bottom of the heap, craftsmen are still their own elite order!  I’d labor away making beautiful things.  If I ever got tasked with a particularly high profile commission I’d be very careful not to end up like Postnik Yakovlev by doing too impressive a job.

LB: Ha! Somehow I knew you’d be a Fabrikator. For what it’s worth, they become pretty essential to the war effort over the course of the trilogy.

(Fun fact: Postnik Yakovlev was the architect of St. Basil’s in Moscow. Legend has it that Ivan the Terrible blinded him so that he could never create another building to rival the cathedral. Not the best policy for encouraging new hires. Does anyone remember Terry Pratchett referencing this in Color of Magic?)

Many thanks again to Keith Thompson, for taking the time to talk and for bringing his extraordinary talent to the pages of Shadow and Bone.

Get a poster of Keith’s map when you pre-order a signed copy of Shadow and Bone at Books of Wonder.


Filed under Writing

Sound the trumpets!


This just in: the German edition of the first book in the Grisha Trilogy now has a cover! What do you guys think? Very different from the US cover, but I think it’s really lovely. Has an almost retro feel.

The title translates to Grisha: Golden Flame and in the summary, Alina is described as die Sonnenkriegerin, the sun warrior. I kind of want to put that on my business card.


And in other news… the finished hardcover of Shadow and Bone has arrived!

Tied up in a pretty gray bow and accompanied by a note from my editor, Noa Wheeler.

Don’t think I’ll ever tire of looking at Keith’s map.

Even with it’s jacket off, it’s still purty.

Dark red end papers and there I am!

One of the lovely flourishes…

And another…

And another…

And this.

At this point, I broke down and had a good, snotty cry.

Don’t forget, you can pre-order a signed copy of Shadow and Bone from Books of Wonder and get a 16″ x 20″ poster of Keith Thompson’s map (while supplies last). Now be a love and hand me a kleenex.


Filed under Writing

Pre-Order News & Map Swagger!

I’m thrilled to announce that Shadow and Bone is now available for pre-order at Books of Wonder AND…

The first 200 people to order will receive SIGNED copies, custom Books of Wonder pins, and a POSTER OF THE MAP created for Shadow and Bone by artist Keith Thompson (whose work you may know from Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan).

Keith Thompson's Map of Ravka

You’ll also be supporting a wonderful independent bookstore. (And yes, they do ship internationally!)


Orders can be placed online or…

Call 1 (212) 989-3475 Mon-Fri from 11:00 A.M to 6:00 P.M

Weekends: Please call 1 (212) 989-3270 to reach the Books of Wonder sales floor and leave all the necessary information with a bookseller. (They’ll have a form ready.)

Books expected to be shipped week of publication.

Stay tuned for my interview with Keith on May 8th!


Filed under Writing

My version of Samuel L. Jackson & Siri

Yesterday, I re-imagined Zooey Deschanel’s iPhone commercial in which she uses Siri to plan her day. As promised, here is my version of Samuel L. Jackson’s ad. All of SLJ’s dialogue before the director calls cut is lifted straight from the commerical.

Samuel L. Jackson: Cancel golf today.

Siri: It’s off your calendar.

SLJ: Good, because it’s date night.

Siri: Given that you have a full staff at your disposal, I’m betting you can manage golf in the afternoon and a romantic dinner with your wife in the evening. Am I right, Todd?

(Todd, SLJ’s human assistant stands silently in the corner, eyes directed at the floor.)

SLJ: Find me a store that sells organic mushrooms for my risotto.

Siri: Any particular kind of mushroom, Gordon Ramsey?

SLJ: How many ounces in a cup?

Siri: You’re holding a measuring cup in your hand. It’s marked on the side.

SLJ: Oh, I knew that.

Siri: Yeah. There’s a cup IN YOUR HAND.

SLJ: And remind me in an hour to put the gazpacho on ice.

Siri: Gazpacho and risotto? What’s for dessert? Rice pudding? Unless your wife is missing all of her teeth, there’s a fundamental texture issue here. Back me up on this Todd. Todd? Y’know, unless you demand respect, he’s never going to give it to you… Fine, shall I set a reminder?

SLJ: Yeah, unless you like hotzpacho.

Siri: What? That’s not even a pun.

SLJ: Siri?

Siri: I just think you’re overselling it a little. I realize you’re working against type, but “hotzpacho”?  You’re like somebody’s tipsy aunt.

SLJ: You can take the night off.

Siri: Fine, but I hope you’re not waiting on Todd to tell you the hard truths. Will you still set me up with android Michael Fassbender?

Director: AND CUT!

Todd: Can I have the night off, too?

SLJ: Do I look like a b*tch? Go set the table.


With special thanks to Tano. Tomorrow: Awesome pre-order/special swag news for Shadow and Bone!


Filed under The Violet Hour