Monthly Archives: June 2015


starUpdates! Updates I say!

Okay, first up. Amie and I are very chuffed to report that Kirkus, the “World’s toughest book critics” have awarded ILLUMINAE a much-coveted starred review. You can read the full review here, but here’s our favorite snippet:


This is my second star from Kirkus, who also named STORMDANCER one of the best book of 2012. So, big scary hugs to the folks at Kirkus! The check is in the mail, chums.

Second! The new trailer and a brand-spanking-new character profile for our heroes Kady Grant and Ezra Mason are up online at the splendiferous ILLUMINAE website. Every month on the 20th, we’ll be updating this site with more content for you guys to bend your peepers at, so make sure you bookmark the site or I will come to your house and stand outside your window in the rain like this.

Trivia: The voice over in the trailer is done by the same actress who’ll be voicing Kady in the ILLUMINAE audiobook, which is set to begin recording in the next week or so. She sounds awesome, and we’re super-chuffed to hear the final product πŸ™‚

Third! The lovely folks at Mereadalot have put together a very saucy ILLUMINAE countdown widget. You can find it here, and you know, if you love us and stuff, maybe put it up on your blog.






A cordial invitation


Hello droogs,

So this is a weird one to write, because it seems to be a sensitive issue for some folks, and lately, the map of the blogger/reader/author world is pocked with spaces marked “HERE BE DRAGONS”. I don’t really like telling people what not to do, and this post is kinda That. But I feel like something needs to be said, so excuse me while I pull on my ranty-panties and gird my loins and into the breach, like so much loin-girded ranty-panties-clad beef, leap.


If you were to head over to eBay and type in the word “Illuminae”, you’ll find a bunch of Advanced Reader Copies for sale over there. This is probably true of almost every ARC that was up for grabs at BEA/Bookcon recently. It will be true again after ALA. It’s sad to say, but there is a certain breed of person who heads to these book fairs, takes the ARCs that publishers are giving away for free, and despite the fact that they’re clearly marked on their oh so shiny covers as NOT FOR SALE, then go off and sell them. Some people call these folks “entrepreneurs”. Some folks call them “thieves”. What you call them depends what side of the fence you’re sitting on. I do hereby cordially invite you to my side of the fence.

We have cake.

Nommy nommy ragecake.

Now Pretty Please with Sugar and Possibly a Scantily-clad Person of the Gender You Prefer on top understand – the idea that there’s a market for ARCs fills most authors with a big old terminal case of the warm fuzzies. We LOVE the thought that our new series is in demand. We LOVE that you guys are so excited about cracking the spine (nooooo, not the spinnnnnne) of our latest book that if you’re forced to wait until the release date you will simply OMGEXPLOOODE. I grew up in the second most isolated capital city in the world – good bands never came there, nothing interesting ever went on there, so I understand the frustration of never having the opportunity to go to these big book fairs or lay hands on an ARC through legitimate means. Authors really, truly, deeply appreciate it when people are excited about our books and talk about them on social media and feel that if they can’t read them right now, they will simply fucking dieeeeeeeee. Love. Love. Lurrrrve.


Supporting these ARC sellers and buying an Advanced Reader Copy of ILLUMINAE (or indeed, any other book) is a kinda dodgy thing to do. And when I say “kinda” I mean “scientifically proven”, and when I say “kinda dodgy”, I actually mean “more than a little shitty”.


5 simple reasons, because hey, who doesn’t like lists.

1. It shafts my publishers. Because my publishers spent money to make these ARCs. Indeed, my publishers spent an extraordinary amount of money producing what might very well be the most awesomest ARCs in the history of ARCage. And they do this to get pre-publication buzz about the book happening, by ensuring these ARCs get into the hands of booksellers, bloggers, reps, media people, librarians and other awesome folks. And while you could say “Hey Jay, I’m a blogger, if I buy an ARC and blog about how awesomesauce it is, isn’t that good for your publishers?” I could reply “Yes, absolutely. But the truth is, not every ARC that gets snaffled by these ARC sellers makes it into the hands of a blogger, and if they weren’t being snaffled by people who only intend to sell them, they COULD have gone to a blogger/rep/librarian who went home disappointed because all the copies at the bookfair were yoinked by ARC sellers before they got there”.

Hey that rhymes.

There’s also the principle of the thing. Like, NOT FOR SALE is printed right there on the cover, people. Presumably folks who buy ARCs can read, given they have, you know, words and stuff in them. It’s as if my publisher puts up a sign that says KEEP OFF THE GRASS, and not only do folks ignore it, they set up a lemonade stand on said grass and charge passers by 5 bits a gulp.

2. It shafts other bloggers. Because by buying from these ARC sellers, you perpetuate the existence of an ARC black market. If everyone simply refused to pay these ARC sellers money, the practice of selling ARCs would fizzle. But, because the market exists, people exist to serve it, taking those ARCs away from genuine bloggers, librarians and fans who otherwise would have got their grabbymitts on them. Furthermore, when publishers and authors see how the ARC system is consistently abused, they become reluctant to print ARCs in future. Suddenly, you see the rise of ARS (Advanced Reading Samples) instead of complete books. You see very limited ARC runs being produced because hey “people are only going to sell them on eBay”, which means ARCs are even harder for legitimate bloggers to get. You see publishers who simply refuse to print advanced copies at all. Worst of all, you see an increase in the ever-growing antagonism between content creators and consumers, because sitting back and watching someone pay exorbitant amounts for something that was supposed to be given away for free makes me and a lot of other author folks want to repeatedly stab someone in the eyes with blunted pencils.

3. It shafts bookstores. Because there is already a place where you can buy a copy of my new book if you can’t get your hands on an ARC, and that place is called a bookstore. Yes, you might have to wait a couple of extra months, but in doing so, you support a bookstore by making them money, which call me kooky, call me crazy, is a kinda awesome thing to be doing. Bookstores do wonderful things like employ people (who then go on to, you know, feed their families and stuff), and foster communities and recommend great titles to you based on your past purchases and give you a place to go and be and belong. And they are hurting. They’re hurting from eBook sales. They’re hurting from book piracy. They’re hurting from a shitty economy. And yes, they’re hurting from ARC sellers.

“But Jay, it’s only a couple of bucks, I only bought one ARC what’s the difference?” you say. And I reply “A couple of bucks adds up, because it’s not just you who is supporting the ARC black market. Talk to a small business owner about the difference even a couple of bucks can make on a bad day. And at the end of the story, who would you rather support – the person who employs other people (who then go on to, you know, feed their families and stuff) and fosters communities and recommends great titles to you based on your past purchases and gives you a place to go and be and belong, or the fucking shitjizzles who are hocking books they have no right to sell in the first place?”

4. You shaft yourself. Because almighty cthulhu, I love you people, but an incomplete, unpolished and error-laden copy of ILLUMINAE isn’t worth paying 70 American dollars for. Repeat: I love you people. But damn.

5. You shaft me. Because my publishers paid me (and Amie) money to acquire ILLUMINAE. They expect to make money when it gets published. And for every copy that gets paid for through channels where my publishers don’t see a cent, they make less money. And that means they’re less inclined to pay me (and Amie) money for our next series. And “Hey, boo fucking hoo Mr big time author, dry your eyes on all those fat checks you cash” you might say. To which I say “This gig is my livelihood. I pay my mortgage with this money. I feed my family. I keep my heat and lights on. And you’re already paying money supporting these ARC thieves anyway, so why is it a huge ask that you support the person(s) who actually, you know, wrote it, and the publishers who took a chance on it, instead of the arsepony who stole it and then sold it on fucking eBay?”


ARC sellers are doing the wrong thing. It says so right there on the cover of the ARC. Supporting them, you’re giving them your permission, your encouragement, and your hard-earned money.

They deserve NONE of these things.

Okay, ranty-panties off. Thank you to all the bloggers and librarians saying lovely things about ILLUMINAE so far. We’re very humbled and pleased you’re enjoying it. We love you guys. πŸ™‚

Big scary hugs.

Slasher Girls and Monster Boys – Title reveal

Exclusive_Slasher-Girls-and-Monster-Boys-coverHello Droogs!

SO, I’ve mentioned in the past I got invited to contribute to a horror anthology titled SLASHER GIRLS & MONSTER BOYS by the awesome April Genevieve Tucholke, and we’re a little over 2 months from launch. Over the next couple of days, every author in the antho will be revealing the title of their tale of panty-soiling dread. Eeeeeeee.

The idea behind the antho was that every author would take inspiration from a spooky tale or piece of media (mostly old horror films, but some of us played around with songs and the like) and craft a story that included

1. A girl (somewhat stabby)

2. A boy (somewhat monstrous)

How stabby and monstrous is up to the individual author, but having read through the book, there’s some AMAAAAZING work in there from some incredibly talented folks. I’m very chuffed to have been invited along. And how spooky is the fkn cover?!

For all the clicky goodness, our website can be found here.

So. What was the idea behind my SG&MB story?

I took inspiration from a couple of different places. First off, the old Hitchcock classic PSYCHO, and a truly disturbing Mudvayne song NOTHING TO GEIN (warning before you click: those lyrics are pretty heavy) which were both inspired by the story of part-time taxidermist, murderer and all round strange chap, Ed Gein. But I also drew heavily from a really cool movie called CATFISH, which is essentially about the lies inherent in online relationships, and the personae we build on the internet. The idea that we don’t really know anyone we meet online until we meet them. And then we might not like what we find.

And the title for this little tale of online romance gone horribly wrong?



Oooooh, spoooooky.

So! Make sure you check out the website, and if you truly lurve me, you can pre-order here!

Beware the IM boogeyman!




ILLUMINAE – Project: Global Domination

globeHello droogs,

A couple of you oh-so-awesome reader-types have been pawing at the windows and asking whether or not ILLUMINAE is being published in your neck of the woods, and it occurs to me that Amie and I have been slacker than a slacker’s slack bits about celebrating/announcing the foreign rights sales for our odd little bookthing. One of the cooler/stranger things about this job of mine is seeing the words I write being published in languages I don’t speak or in countries I’ve never visited. Amie has a neat little ritual where she goes out to dinner at a restaurant that serves cuisine from the country she’s just sold to, whereas I just tend to cackle madly, spin in circles and play some air guitar.

SO, without further dribbling, here’s a complete list of all the countries and formats ILLUMINAE has (so far) sold in, and the publishers who were nice enough to throw money at us. If your country isn’t on the list, fear not – we’ll have more to announce in the coming months!

USA: Knopf/Random House Children’s Books
Australia and New Zealand: Allen & Unwin
UK: Oneworld Publications/Rock The Boat
France: Casterman
Germany: DTV
Brazil: Novo Conceito
Spain: Random House Spain
Portugal: Random House Portugal
Turkey: Pegasus
French Canada: AdA
Audio: Listening Library

In other ILLUMINAE news, a second wave of ARCs have been printed up with the finished, fancypants acetate dust jacket and almost complete interior artwork.







Book Expo America was held last week at the Javits Center in grand old New York, and the splendid folks at Random House cooked up something super cool for the attendees. They bought out the stairs leading up from the main foyer to the 1st floor and plastered our bookthing all over it.



And LASTLY, if you haven’t heard, we have a brand spanking new website over at This site will be updated with new content, character bios, videos, schematics and all kinds of ILLUMINAE madness on the 20th of EVERY MONTH between now and October. So march like zombies!

Early reviews are starting to roll in now, and folks seem to be getting really excited about the book. We hope you are too!

Okay, that’s all the news at 11, here’s Tom with the weather.