I get asked this question a lot

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And despite the picture, I’m not billing myself as some kind of little green jedi master in the art of writing. But I figure I’d write my answer here. For what it’s worth.

What would you recommend to people like me, who one day would like to become a published author?

First, decide what kind of author you want to be. Being an author is like being a musician. You can play pop music, or you can play weirder, off the wall stuff. Either choice is fine, but you should understand you probably won’t be able to do it full time and pay your bills with it if you’re playing the literary equivalent of jazz fusion on a banjo.

Write lots. Give yourself permission to suck. Understand you will likely be shit before you’re good, and being shit is okay as long as you’re getting better.

If you want to be a pop music style author (ie, one that pays their mortgage with their book money and gets on bestseller lists and whatnot), understand trends and the market. Understand what makes big books big. Learn how publishing works – not just the writing part. Learn about publishing houses and the rules that govern them. Learn when to follow those rules and when to break them.

Understand an ENORMOUS amount of this industry is based on luck. Anyone who does well as an artist is lucky, authors are no exception. They might be talented and hard working too, but the brutal fact is, talent and hard work aren’t enough. I know a bunch of talented, hard working authors who have never been able to quit their dayjobs. Success as an artist is about many factors, especially luck, and luck is something you can only marginally control. Anyone who tells you different is a fool, liar or selling you something.

So ultimately, don’t do it to get famous. Because ultimately, you can’t control it. Instead, do it because you love it. Because you can’t imagine doing anything else. Because as crazy as it is, and long your odds of success are, creating imaginary worlds and breathing life into imaginary people is a far better use of your time than sitting in front of the fucking television.

 

 

The end. FWIW.

 


NEVERNIGHT Desktops

Hello Droogs,

As per usual, I’m putting out some NEVERNIGHT desktop images in case you folks wanted to decorate your phones or tablets with the awesome stabbiness that is this cover. I’m also including the original Jason Chan artwork without the amazeballs typography, just in case your life is amazeballs enough already.

(The cat made of shadows you can see on the left hand side will appear on the spine of the book, and be explained in the pages. But he’s not really a cat at all.)

You can pre-order NEVERNIGHT at the following links:

Amazon/Barnes&Noble/Indiebound/Powells/Book Depository

And remember, the cover pimp competition runs until 10 February. Big scary hugs to everyone who’s already helped to spread the word.

Right click to embiggen the images, then save to your heart’s content.

Enjoy!

iPad (these are square to accommodate your screen orientation in both landscape and portrait format)

Cover full type ipad

Cover no type

iPhone 6

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Cover no type iphone6

iPhone 5

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NEVERNIGHT cover reveal!

Mobile phones off, please.

Hello droogs!

I’m very chuffed to be presenting the cover reveal for my new fantasy series, NEVERNIGHT, with the help of some amazing friends and their blogs :)

As per usual, I’ll be giving away some phat lewts, so read on after the links!

First, what the hell is this book about:

The first in an epic new fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author.

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, a sixteen year old Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic — the Red Church. Treachery and trials await her with the Church’s halls, and to fail is to die. But if she survives to initiation, Mia will be inducted among the chosen of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the only thing she desires.

Revenge.

That’s it in a nutshell. The elevator pitch to my editor was “Harry Potter meets the Lies of Locke Lamora.”

Second, wrap your eyeballs around the cover!

There’s a bunch of participating sites, and each of them is offering some exclusive content, so they’re all worth a click. You can find the reveal going on at the following locations:

USA Today – Cover reveal and exclusive excerpt.

Cuddlebuggery – Cover reveal and special post from our typographer, the awesome Meg Morely from Cuddlebuggery.

The Midnight Garden – Cover reveal and Five Facts You Should Know About NEVERNIGHT.

Tor – Cover reveal and “Making Of a Cover” post.

Fantasy Faction – Cover reveal and interview.

Third, win yourselves some sweet, sweet loot!

This contest is open internationally. It will run until February 10.

You can win a signed ARC of Nevernight, along with a signed audiobook of ILLUMINAE, just by tweeting or FBing something close to the following – pretty much just include the #nevernight hashtag and link, so I can see you doing it:

The  cover from  is amazeballs! Signed loot! Excerpts! Make with the clickies:

Forth, Jay loves pre-orders!

If you’re super keen and really, truly wuv meeee, you can pre-order NEVERNIGHT from the following awesome outlets:

Amazon

Barnes&Noble

Indiebound

Powells

Book Depository

That’s it! Hope you lurve the cover, and thanks for spreading the word!


ILLUMINAE TOUR VID AND ILL2 FAQ

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 12.01.57 PMHello Droogs!

Been a long time between posts, I know. but I’m sure you’d rather me write books than blog posts. I mean, who the smeg reads blog posts anymore :P

ILLUMINAE has been on the NYT bestseller List for 8 weeks running now, which is all kinds of awesome! Thanks to everyone spreading the word about our strange little bookthing!

SO, in case you missed it, we put together a video of our ILLUMINAE tour through Oz and the States, and you can find it here. As an added bonus, at the end of the video, you’ll find the name of the second book in the ILLUMINAE series. If you tweet about it under the hashtag #illuminae2, you’ll be in the running to win a signed copy of the (amazing) ILLUMINAE audiobook. Cast of 20. Amazing effects. The guys at Listening Library did an amazing job.

Competition will run until Jan 17.

SO, now that the name of ILL2 is out in the world, we can start to answer a few questions about it.

BE WARNED – SOME SPOILERS MAY FOLLOW. IF YOU HAVEN’T READ ILLUMINAE YET, YOU MAY WISH TO GO MAKE SOME KIND OF DELICIOUS SANDWICH OR MAINLINE THE FIRST SERIES OF DAREDEVIL (it’s really good) INSTEAD.

So here we go:

Is ILLUMINAE2 a sequel or companion novel to ILLUMINAE?

Both. Chronologically, it picks up about 5 minutes after ILLUMINAE ends. The book continues the story of the invasion of Kerenza IV, and many of the important questions asked in ILL are answered in ILL2, ie “The Hypatia was sending distress calls all through Illuminae, why did help never arrive?” and “Can there possibly be a dude in the universe hotter than Ezra Mason?

This is important: how do I pronounce the title?

Soft G. Like so: JEM-ih-nuh.

Is ILLUMINAE2 still set aboard the Hypatia?

ILL2 is primarily set on Jump Station Heimdall, the space station that Battlecarrier Alexander and Science Vessel Hypatia were trying to get to for most of ILLUMINAE. Heimdall, incidentally, is the name of the god who guarded Bifrost, the Rainbow Bridge, which connected Midgard and Asgard in Norse mythology.

Yeah, yeah, that’s great. But I love Kady. Is she in ILL2?

Yes.

I mean really in it? Not just a cameo?

Yes. She’s in it. Sassier than ever.

And what about the rest of the ILL gang?

Well, as you know, ILL has a pretty high death toll, and we don’t want to issue any potential spoilers at this point. So all we’ll say is that the folks who survive book one will be seen again in book two.

But the book is primarily focused on two new characters?

Correctamundo. Our heroine this time is Hanna Donnelly, the daughter of Jump Station Heimdall‘s commander. She kinda looks like this gal. Our “hero” is Nik Malikov, a reluctant member of a criminal syndicate operating out of Heimdall station. He’s kinda like this guy. You can thank us later, ladies.

Hey, doesn’t Kady’s dad work on Heimdall station?

Bingo.

So what’s ILLUMINAE2 about?

Official jacket copy will be released in early 2016. Until then, we can say we pitched the book to our publishers as DIE HARD meets ALIEN. Use your imagination :)

Is ILLUMINAE2 going to be the same format as ILLUMINAE?

Yes. Just like ILLUMINAE, ILL2 is a collection of documents, such as emails, IMs, security camera footage (and yes, Security Camera Footage guy is back in this book, too). But in the interests of making things bigger and better for the sequel, we also have a couple of new document styles in ILLUMINAE 2. One of which is going to BLOW YOUR GODDAMN MINDS. But we can’t talk about that one yet.

Where do babies come from?

Uh uh. Spoilers.

 

OKAY, that’s it from me. Hope you all have awesome holidays and a brill new year. Thanks for all your support this year – 2015 was one of the most amazing years of my life, and you guys were a HUGE part of that.

Stay amazing, be safe, see you in 2016!


A Thing

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zomg

So my partner in crime and I are busy zooming around the US of A on the ILLUMINAE tour, and in-between meeting awesome people and visiting amazing bookstores and exploring this incredible country, we don’t have much time for bloggery and other sorts of sillybuggery.

BUT, I figure I should take the time to commemorate the fact that ILLUMINAE is, holy fucking shit, #5 on The List this week, and, should I ever be stricken with an attack of utter wankerdom, I can now officially introduce myself as a New York Times Bestselling Author at all the swanky dinner parties I never get invited to.

Because, you know, it’s a Thing.

So, THANK YOU to everyone who helped make this absurd little dream of mine come true. All the bloggers, vloggers, Twitterers, Facebookers, Instagrammers and Tumblrers. All the booksellers and librarians. All the bookstore owners and sales reps. All the publicists and marketing crew, the designers and copy editors, the mail roomers and coffee makers. Everyone who has told a friend about this book, spoken online about this book, recommended this book. YOU made this happen, and both Amie and I owe you the world.

Right. back to the road.

If we’re headed to your town on tour, we’d love to see you!

 


Launch Party

Hello droogs!

Friday October 23, we launched ILLUMINAE in Melbourne at one of our favorite local bookstores, Dymocks on Collins St. The number of people who showed up was amazing – one of the biggest the store had ever seen. We did the speechy thing, signed a dumptruck full of books and wound up at a karaoke bar at 4am, which is always the measure of a successful launch imo.

Thanks for everyone who came out to welcome our strange little bookthing into the world!

America, we’ll see you on tour!

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Booooooks

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That’s a lot of peeps :P

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Speeching

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OMGing at the speeching

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Huuuuuuuuugs

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Ames & her mum :)

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Say whaaaat?

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“I think this is the bit where they killed me . . . “

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Cheeeeeeeese

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The line!

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Peeps!

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This person obvs has excellent taste

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Moar peeps

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FIGHT LIKE A GIRL

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Signing in full swing

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The line continues

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The aftermath!

 


Launch Day

WE HAVE LIFTOFF BITCHESSo here we are.

Two and a half years is a long time. Two and half years is the blink of an eye.

In February 2013, I said “yes” to an idea I’d never really have considered if left to my own devices – try to write a book with someone else.

It wasn’t the way Things Were Done in my head. The suggestion was scary when I really thought about it, and as with all scary suggestions, my first instinct was to say “no”. I’m not sure why I didn’t. Maybe I had an inkling then of what I know now – that no matter what you create, art or music or film or interpretive mime, you have to challenge yourself as a creator every day. It’s in the scary places you find the cool stuff. It’s in the scary places you have the most fun.

I hope someone asks you a question as scary as the one Amie asked me two and a half years ago. I hope you at least consider saying yes, no matter how scary the thought. And I hope something amazing happens because of it.

Two and a half years of 2am rambles and crazy ideas and coolest creative partnership I’ve ever had. Two years of working with the most awesome crew authors could ask for. Two years of trying to come to grips with the idea that this book, as utterly insane as it was, might actually get put on a bookshelf one day.

And that day is today.

Happy birthday, ILLUMINAE, you insane little bookthing, you. I have no idea how we managed to pull you off, but I’m very glad we did.

Folks, you can find our bookthing here:

Amazon/Barnes&Noble/Indiebound/Powells/Book Depository

Of course, you can also buy it in your local store, and they’d love it if you did!

If you’re in the neighborhood, it’d be awesome to see you on tour.

If you’ve been cheerleading for us, helping to spread the word, blogging, vlogging, tweeting, screaming at random strangers in the street about our book – thank you. Amie and I know who you are. We see what you do. We appreciate your passion and you energy and your time. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. You are 100% awesome. If you see our bookthing out in the wild, say hello for us :)

I shall leave you with some choice words from some very cool peeps, some of our favorite lines from the book, and of course, big scary hugs.

marie

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