December 8, 2014

Goodreads Choice Awards, Electric Literature, a CITY sequel, and so on

Ah, the waning weeks of the year. This is a time for anxiety for many people – gifts, travel, budgets, parents, we all know the classic holiday stress – but for writers, it’s a bit unusual, in that every single time we see Top/Best/Favorite/Notable Books of 2014, we automatically open it and hit CTRL + F and search for our names, only to feel bruises forming on our hearts as “Results not found” comes back.

Anywhoo, I’m pretty right chuffed to see Jeff VanderMeer has picked CITY OF STAIRS as one of his favorite books of 2014. (I read Jeff’s ANNIHILATION earlier in the year and found myself both awed, bewildered, and extensively creeped out by it. I have yet to read the last two installments of a trilogy because of… well, I will tell you about that in a bit.) The rest of his list is quite intimidatingly accomplished, and I wish I was as good a reader as Jeff clearly is. Though I did a great deal of my reading while sitting around in airports this year, so maybe that’s the trick.

And as some of you likely noticed, CITY OF STAIRS did not win the Goodreads Choice Awards of 2014. It was shy of maybe 50,000 votes, what can you do. But from the Goodreads stats, I am most certainly happy it got nominated!

CaptureIn other news, for the past 5 months or so I’ve been working nonstop on the sequel to CITY OF STAIRS.

This is my first sequel to anything I’ve written. I had not initially planned to write a sequel for STAIRS, since trying to extrapolate what would happen next in that world would likely be, uh, hard. But my agent and editor more or less said, “You already did a ton of work creating this playground, don’t you want to at least play around in it for a while?” and this naturally appealed to my strongest characteristic, laziness.

I finished it last Tuesday. I expect to do a lot more work on it still. It’s called CITY OF BLADES, and I quickly slapped together this description a few months ago:

The city of Voortyashtan was once the domain of the goddess of death, war, and destruction, but now it’s little more than a ruin. General Turyin Mulaghesh is called out of retirement and sent to this hellish place to try to find a Saypuri secret agent who’s gone missing in the middle of a mission, but the city of war offers countless threats: not only have the ghosts of her own past battles followed her here, but she soon finds herself wondering what happened to all the souls that were trapped in the afterlife when the Divinities vanished. Do the dead sleep soundly in the land of death? Or do they have plans of their own?

That doesn’t quite cover it, but it’s a good start. It’s about war, death, duty, sacrifice, and honor. And I think it might actually be a little better than CITY OF STAIRS, in my own personal opinion.

Oh, and don’t worry – Sigrud is prominently featured as well.