Writer's Grove

Levi Bread

September 2, 2019

I’m adapting this post from a Twitter thread so folks can find and follow it a bit easier. If you’re not coming from Twitter, welcome anyway—this is a white chocolate and orange bread recipe my kid made up that will make you glad to be alive. But don’t take my word for it. Behold what Sarah said, the first person besides us to try the recipe:

The smell is absolutely divine and most likely not something you’ve smelled before. The first time Levi made it, Kimberly and I quizzed them intensely:
US: Where did you get this recipe? It smells so good!
LEVI: I just made it up.
US: You did?
LEVI: Yeah. I thought it might work.
US: It works for us, kid! Holy shit! OM NOM NOM
LEVI: Jeez, stop! Just stop. You guys are so weird!

Levi had been taking a cooking class in high school and they covered breadmaking for a week or something like that, but Levi really enjoyed the process and started experimenting with different ingredients. This particular result was an unqualified winner and we’ve been enjoying it for a few years now. You can, of course, try throwing other ingredients into the basic bread. You can try adapting it to be gluten-free. Let me know if your experiments go well! In the interest of science and happiness, though, you owe it to yourself to duplicate these results in your own kitchen. There might be similar recipes out there on the Internets, and yay if you want to google them. But Levi took a swing at this bread improv and hit a home run, so we call it Levi Bread. Step-by-step recipe below!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of the milk you like; we use whole milk
  • 1/4 cup of buttah
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch of salt, or four shakes, or four grinds of the salt mill
  • 1 package of instant or otherwise freakin’ fast-acting yeast
  • 1 orange
  • 4 ounces of white chocolate chips

Let’s get onnit

Put the milk in a saucepan and warm it up on the stove. Don’t boil it! While that’s going, nuke that muthafuggin buttah or melt it slowly over a fondue bowl, whatevs, and then zest the heck out of that orange so that all those lovely orange peels are taking a bath in melted buttah and feeling luxurious and pampered.

Combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a mixing bowl and get them acquainted with each other, making sure everyone meets everybody else like those awkward icebreaker exercises the principal makes you do on inservice days. Ask me how many of those I had to endure as a public school teacher. NO DON’T DO THAT I DON’T WANNA REMEMBER

Once the dry ingredients are mixed up, throw in everything else except the white chocolate chips. Water! Milk! Egg! Orange zest bathed in buttah!

Now get yourself a mixer and let it do its thing, getting all the dry ingredients wet until you have a zesty moist blob like your Uncle Jethro or your Aunt Gladys. Everybody has an aunt or an uncle that’s a moist blob so you know what I’m talking about here

OKAY MAYBE THAT’S JUST MY FAMILY

Slap your blob on a sanitary flour-covered surface and start kneading. Add little handfuls of flour as needed until you get the dough to the point where it’s nice and stretchy and still moist like Uncle Jethro, BUT it’s not so moist that it’s sticking to your fingers.

So when it’s all kneaded as much as needed you should have a smol round dough boi of delicious potential. Put him in your mixing bowl and let him rise like a sequel for an hour or so (because sequels are so often rising, have you noticed? As in SEQUEL TO A THING: RISE OF THE THINGS, and I don’t know, I thought it was funny until I explained it). You can cover up the mixing bowl with a kitchen towel or cellophane just so the cat won’t yark a hairball onto it and maybe play it some encouraging music. We wanted our smol dough boi to be excited about getting baked soon so we played it some stoner rock. It should look something like this before you cover it:

Come back after an hour and coo lovingly at your smol dough boi, which is now a much bigger dough boi:

Now comes the super exciting part where you ADD THE WHITE CHOCOLATE CHIPS and to do this properly you have to say NOW I ADD THE WHITE CHOCOLATE CHIPS really loud as you pour them on because I swear it will make you feel so happy. So yeah, the recipe says four ounces because that’s about half a bag of chips. But hey: you do you. If you want fewer chips or more chips, go for it! I won’t tell anybody.

An important side note: White chocolate isn’t really chocolate at all. I mean, it’s a different thing. It doesn’t behave, bake, or taste like chocolate because it isn’t chocolate. So if you want to substitute semi-sweet chocolate chips for white chocolate chips you can certainly do that, but understand up front that the end result won’t look or taste the same as what we’re doing here. It will probably still be good—maybe even great! Just not the same.

Okay, time to smoosh your big dough boi back down to a smol dough boi with white chocolate chips. Knead them in there! You can do it right in the bowl, no need to add more flour or anything.

Now grease up a bread pan with buttah. You can use a cheap aluminum job, or even a muffin tin if you want as Sarah did in the picture up top, but we have an actual bread pan because Levi likes making bread and we like eating it. Lay your smol white chocolate orange dough boi in the pan and let him return to bigness like he’s the end of a trilogy (as in LORD OF THE THINGS: RETURN OF THE THING). This second proofing—or rising, or whatever you want to call it—only needs about 45 minutes. Cover up your pan because if you don’t the cat will fuck it up. And I don’t care if you don’t have a cat, it’ll happen anyway. It is a universal truth that cats will always fuck up uncovered dough bois wherever they may be. You’ve been warned: Cover your dough boi.

Now answer some emails! Scroll through social media! Go online or call your local indie bookstore and preorder my next book so I can buy Levi a taco! But near the end of the second proofing, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then remove the cover from your dough boi and smile at how winsome and pumped-up he is. Here’s Levi with the loaf right before it goes in the oven (and if you’re wondering, those are Assorted Sharky Bois on one arm and an Octopus Boi on the other):

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or up to an hour depending on your oven. You want to see a golden brown top crust and those white chocolate chips have toasted brown too. The smell at this point is going to drive you wild and you will understand why this was all worth it. You will simply not get this smell out of any loaf you buy at the store. But check it first! Insert a knife or your favorite switchblade or icepick or something into the center, and if it comes out clean, you should be good to go.

Remove the Levi Bread from the pan, put it on a rack or something to cool for a bit and just get high on the smell. Take pictures of it, share on social media and direct people to this recipe so they can know this bliss too. Spread the love, y’all. It’s seriously the best bread I’ve ever had and my favorite smell in the world. Here’s Sarah’s review after she tried her first slice:

Levi thanks you all in advance for giving their recipe a try and hopes you enjoy it. And if you wind up buying any of my books, Levi also thanks you for indirectly buying them a taco. Peace & happy dough bois, friends.

New Gnomes!

August 1, 2019

Super turbo happy to share with you the fun paperback cover for No Country for Old Gnomes, book two in the Tales of Pell! The hardcovers have more of a fairy-tale storybook art style to them, but for the paperbacks we keep the key art silhouettes, then make the background really bright and use a font that emphasizes this read is gonna be honkin’ fun.

Which is a true thing. These books are honkin’ fun. Delilah and I had a blast writing them, and in the July issue of Locus magazine, reviewer Katharine Coldiron said of Gnomes that “…the book is a complete delight, as fluffy and fun as The Lego Movie and as heartfelt as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” I was especially pleased to see that she noted some of the serious stuff we have going on under the surface—like why do so few fantasy heroes ever have to deal with PTSD after the horrors they face?

However, thinking of the Pell series merely as a sendup does it a disservice….The story offers many opportunities for personal growth and reflection, and a realistic take on how the violence and struggle of a quest wears down the questers—a rare quality indeed in fantasy literature.

So here’s the cover for the paperback, which will be out on January 7! Still time for you to get a hardcover copy, and if you want one signed by both of us that benefits charity, snag yours at Worldbuilders Market. Or you can pick up an unsigned copy any old place and have us sign it later, or enjoy the audiobook!

But wait! there’s more

In case you didn’t hear, we have a third book in the Tales of Pell coming out October 8! It’s called The Princess Beard, and you don’t have to read the others first to enjoy it—these are all written in the shared world of Pell but can stand alone and be read in any order. Behold:

How about a little info about it? From the cover copy:

Once upon a time, a princess slept in a magical tower cloaked in thorns and roses.


When she woke, she found no Prince Charming, only a surfeit of hair and grotesquely long fingernails—which was, honestly, better than some creep who acted without consent. She cut off her long braids and used them to escape. But she kept the beard because it made a great disguise.
This is not a story about finding true love’s kiss—it’s a story about finding yourself. On a pirate ship. Where you belong.


But these are no ordinary pirates aboard The Puffy Peach, serving under Filthy Lucre, the one-eyed parrot pirate captain. First there’s Vic, a swole and misogynistic centaur on a mission to expunge himself of the magic that causes him to conjure tea and dainty cupcakes in response to stress. Then there’s Tempest, who’s determined to become the first dryad lawyer—preferably before she takes her ultimate form as a man-eating tree. They’re joined by Alobartalus, an awkward and unelfly elf who longs to meet his hero, the Sn’archivist who is said to take dictation directly from the gods of Pell. Throw in some mystery meat and a dastardly capitalist plot, and you’ve got one Pell of an adventure on the high seas!

Delighted to report that The Princess Beard has already earned a starred review in Booklist! Delilah and I will be doing a few stops for this one along the eastern part of the US, and we hope to see you if you can mark the date on your calendar. We always sign any and all of our books so bring all the things and all your friends. I have dates and locations:

October 7: Doylestown Bookshop in Doylestown, PA, with Chuck Wendig!
October 8: Fountain Books in Richmond, VA!
October 9: Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC!
October 10: Barnes & Noble in Orlando, FL!

Details on times and stuff a bit later. If you preorder from an indie bookstore or anywhere, really, it’s tremendously helpful for a ton of reasons and deeply appreciated. Please enjoy! Order your copy here:
Indiebound Amazon B&N Kobo iBooks Hudson BAM! Chapters/Indigo

Cover reveal!

July 25, 2019

Eeeee I’m so excited! It’s Abhi! And a turbo spiffy blackwing on the badge doohickey graphic! IS IT WRONG THAT I WANT AN ENAMEL PIN OF THAT BLACKWING?

Huge thanks to artist Gene Mollica and designer David Stevenson and Metal Editor Tricia Narwani for their work on this!

A bit about the thinking behind it: We wanted to feature Abhinava Khose on this cover because he’s the cool kid who discovered the Sixth Kenning, and while we wanted to echo the design and layout of A Plague of Giants—featuring a single character up close and in partial shadow—we thought it vital to differentiate Abhi from Gorin Mogen. So Abhi is on the other side of the cover, looking in the opposite direction, and he has a hot color filter overlay instead of a cold one. Plus he has the expression of having seen some shit, and while he doesn’t want to start any shit he’ll certainly finish it. I cannot wait for y’all to read this. It’s out in early February! 

Huge, huge thank-yous to everyone who read A Plague of Giants and spread the word, and thanks also to those of you who shot me an email or commented somewhere that you loved it. It makes me happy. I hope this next volume will make you happy!

This picks up right where A Plague of Giants left off, starting with Day 20 of the bard’s tales. You’ll see the return of Abhi and Tallynd du Böll and Gondel Vedd, but also hear tales from other characters who appeared in the first volume, like Hanima Bhandury and Mai Bet Ken and Olet Kanek. And you’ll find out at long last what the Seventh Kenning is!

Pre-orders are so enormously important for reasons that would comprise a much longer blog post, so let me just say this: If you plan on reading it, will you please consider pre-ordering for gigantic buttloads of good karma points? 

You can pre-order A Blight of Blackwings from your independent bookstore through Indiebound, or from Amazon  B&N   Chapters/Indigo  Kobo

Thank y’all so much! I hope you dig it!

What’s up this summer?

July 13, 2019

I’m riding my bike through the trees a lot and saying hello to doggies and reading good books and playing video games…and that’s probably similar to what you’re doing too, eh? Though I’m also in a D&D campaign set in the Ghosts of Saltmarsh world and it’s great. I heard about this place called Heroforge that will 3D-print custom figurines for you, and I ordered two: One is a ranger for the current campaign, and the other is a dwarf for a future campaign named Keggi Gruntled. Can’t wait for them to arrive and then I’ll get to paint them! *geekout*

Writing-wise, I’m working on a new series called Ink & Sigil that’s set in the Iron Druid universe and the first book should be out next summer. It’s a new and different magic system and set of issues, and while the Druids are mentioned and there are easter eggs that Iron Druid readers will appreciate, no one has to have read Iron Druid to start this one off and enjoy it.

If you’re hankering for more Iron Druid and missed the announcements somehow, I released two titles earlier this year that provide a nice coda (and happy ending) to the series: First, Death & Honey picks up with Atticus, Oberon, and Starbuck five months after Scourged and there is joy. You can snag it in ebook or audio narrated by Luke Daniels:

Ebook: Amazon B&N

Audio: Audible iTunes

Cover art by Galen Dara.

Secondly, First Dangle and Other Stories collects several Iron Druid stories that were included in various anthologies but also includes the all-new First Dangle, an Owen and Slomo adventure that takes them to Spain, London, and Austin, Texas. You can snag it below. The audio edition also includes some liner notes from me and a bonus story, “The Chapel Perilous,” which has finally been narrated by Luke Daniels.

Ebook: Amazon B&N
Audio: Audible iTunes

Also happening this summer: Copy edits for A Blight of Blackwings, the sequel to A Plague of Giants that will be out in February! Hopefully I’ll be able to share some cover art with you soon.

And a bit later: I’ll be doing a brief east coast tour with Delilah S. Dawson in October for The Princess Beard, the third book in the Tales of Pell. Many thanks to everyone who’s read Kill the Farm Boy and No Country for Old Gnomes. The latter just got reviewed in the July issue of Locus Magazine, in fact, which said “The pleasures of No Country for Old Gnomes are many, and the humor ranges everywhere, including pop and internet culture (gnomes are a “smöl” race), absurd ideas with connections to traditional fantasy (the Toot Towers, shaped like flutes, are the quest’s destination), and excessive punnery and language play.” They said lots more than that, but I quoted a bit to let you know you’d have fun reading it. Y’all can get signed copies of the Tales of Pell from Worldbuilders Market, and indeed all my stuff is available there, plus spiffy merchandise, and your purchase directly benefits charity!

If you’re a Canadian peep or Canada-adjacent, why not consider attending Can-Con in October? Stellar author Charlie Jane Anders will be there, plus superagent DongWon Song, my entire D&D group, me and my beard, and many other spiffy peeps.

The Short Version:

October 8: The Princess Beard
February 4: A Blight of Blackwings
Next Summer: Ink & Sigil

I hope you’re having a great summer! Peace & tacos, friends.

First Dangle

June 13, 2019
Cover art by Galen Dara.

Out now in ebook and audio: An all-new Owen and Slomo adventure!

Archdruid Owen Kennedy and his happy murder sloth, Slomo, are planning on having a pleasant day exploring the world together when Coriander, Herald Extraordinary to the First Among the Fae, comes to them for help. There’s been a supernatural murder in Spain and he needs a Druid to solve it.

The trail leads from Spain to the Royal Gardens at Kew in London, thence to Tír na nÓg and an Austin, Texas honky tonk. Owen and Slomo always feel a bit out of place wherever they are, but enjoy being together that way.

The collection also includes several other Iron Druid stories that appeared elsewhere in anthologies and magazines, collected here for the first time.

The audio edition includes a long-requested recording of Luke Daniels narrating an old story of mine, “The Chapel Perilous,” which includes a performance of Apple Jack, the paranoid horse, that is not to be missed! It also includes some “liner notes” from me, geeky stuff about the research and thinking behind the stories. Fun if you like mythology, but easily skipped if you just want the stories. The audio sample below is from “First Dangle.”

You can order now in ebook and audio, and that would make my mom happy and help me buy tacos:

Ebook: Amazon  B&N
Audio: Audible

Hope you enjoy! Thanks so much for reading!

Gnomes and halflings

April 15, 2019

It’s out now! No Country for Old Gnomes is the second book in the Tales of Pell but you don’t have to read the first one to enjoy it. Folks, this tale has some goodies I think you’ll enjoy:

  • A goth gnome with purple bats on his cardigan
  • Halflings involved in organized crime—the seedy truth no one would tell you before!
  • A gryphon obsessed with omelets and umlauts
  • Dryads and drynads (you’ve always wondered what male dryads were called, and now you know)
  • An ovitaur (half human, half sheep) with a touch of kleptomania and also a really clunky automaton
  • A dwarf who seeks inner peace but runs into a cabbage cult and that really ruins his day
  • Trouble at the Toot Towers
  • Hotly contested muesli
  • Boning tea
  • A kobold bard
  • A troll gets it
  • So many puns
Gosh dang that’s a heckin’ purty cover! Art by Craig Phillips

So give it a read, why dontcha? Guaranteed to be more fun than watching the news! Booklist said, “Fans and new readers will giggle and guffaw and be pleased to discover a third book is forthcoming for this thoroughly entertaining series.”

That’s true—The Princess Beard will be out in October! So if we don’t visit a place near you for this tour, hopefully we’ll see you then. But below is a list of where Delilah and I will be this week. If you can make it we would love to see you, and of course we will also sign anything else we’ve written in the past—Iron Druid stuff, A Plague of Giants, whatever!

  • April 15, 7 pm: Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, IL, with special guest Luke Daniels!
  • April 16, 7 pm: Barnes & Noble at HarMar Mall, Roseville, MN
  • April 17, 7 pm: Powell’s Books in Beaverton, OR
  • April 18, 7:30 pm: Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego, CA, with special guest Stephen Blackmoore!
  • April 19, 7 pm: The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, AZ
  • April 20, 6:30 pm: Murder by the Book in Houston, TX, with special guest Rachel Caine!

Any of the above stores will ship or hold a signed copy for you, by the way, if you can’t make it to a signing. Just give them a call! And also you can get signed copies through Worldbuilders, all proceeds to charity. (Worldbuilders actually has all my stuff if you’re looking for signed copies and other goodies.)

Hope you enjoy, my gnomies!

Gnomes Giveaway

March 6, 2019

To be clear before you get too excited: We are not giving away actual gnomes. But if you preorder No Country for Old Gnomes in print, ebook, or audio from any retailer in the US before April 16, Delilah and I will send you a signed poster (below) by way of thanks. The poster is illustrated by Kiji Art and features three of the many new characters you’re going to meet in the book: Offi, Kirsi, and Gerd the gryphon. To get the poster, preorder No Country for Old Gnomes wherever you wish, then submit a picture of your receipt or a screencap of your confirmation on the page at this link, and it will be sent to you after April 16. It’s that easy! Here’s what the (unsigned) poster looks like:

Offi, Kirsi, and Gerd from No Country for Old Gnomes, illustrated by Kiji Art.

We will also be signing and giving away this poster on our tour, so if you attend any of these events and buy a copy of No Country for Old Gnomes, you’ll score one:

April 15: Naperville, IL. Anderson’s Bookshop, 7 pm. With special guest: audiobook narrator Luke Daniels!
April 16: Roseville, MN. Barnes & Noble, 7 pm.
April 17: Beaverton, OR. Powell’s Books, 7 pm.
April 18: San Diego, CA. Mysterious Galaxy, 7:30 pm. With special guest: author Stephen Blackmoore!
April 19: Scottsdale, AZ. The Poisoned Pen, 7 pm.
April 20: Houston, TX. Murder By The Book, 6:30 pm. With special guest: author Rachel Caine!

Delilah and I will of course sign any of our other books too, so please come see us!

Want to learn more about No Country for Old Gnomes? OK, I gotcha. Here’s a summary:

Go big or go gnome. War is coming, and it’s gonna be Pell.
On one side stand the gnomes: smol, cheerful, possessing tidy cardigans and no taste for cruelty.


On the other side sit the halflings, proudly astride their war alpacas, carrying bags of grenades and hungry for a fight. And pretty much anything else.


It only takes one halfling bomb, and Offi Numminen’s world is turned upside down—or downside up, really, since he lives in a hole in the ground. His goth cardigans and aggressive melancholy set him apart from the other gnomes, as does his decision to fight back against their halfling oppressors. Suddenly Offi is the leader of a band of lovable misfits and outcasts—from a gryphon who would literally kill for omelettes to a young dwarf herbalist who is better with bees than his cudgel to an assertive and cheerful teen witch with a beard as long as her book of curses—all on a journey to the Toot Towers to confront the dastardly villain intent on tearing Pell asunder.

These adventurers never fit in anywhere else, but as they become friends, fight mermaids, and get really angry at this one raccoon, they learn that there’s nothing more heroic than being yourself.

Besides Offi and Kirsi and Gerd, you’ll get to meet Båggi Biins, the dwarvelish herbalist and friend to bees; Faucon Pooternoob, the halfling hunter and occasional attorney; Agape Fallopia the ovitaur*, and more!

Please feel free to tell all your friends and relatives and alien overlords about this. Delilah and I would love to sign posters until we get carpal tunnel.** The thing is, this isn’t a contest—it’s a thank-you gift. If you’re in the US, you preorder by April 15 and you fill out the form, then you will get a signed poster, by dinkum!***

Thank you in advance. We are so excited for you to read and we hope to see you on our tour! Right now we are finishing up edits on book 3, The Princess Beard, which will be out later this year, so if we don’t see you in April, maybe we’ll be near you in October! And hey, wanna see some more Pellish art? We have more right here and would love to see yours too if you’re feeling inspired —send it our way! Happy reading!

*Ovitaurs are half human, half sheep
**Maybe we would not enjoy actual carpal tunnel but a delightful soreness after working hard would be pleasant, methinks
***This is a thing that gnomes tend to say, having never heard of golly

More Oberon and Starbuck

February 28, 2019

A new Oberon’s Meaty Mystery is available today—a novella told entirely from Oberon’s point of view—featuring Oberon, Starbuck, and Atticus in Tasmania a few months after the events of Scourged. (Events from that book are discussed and might be spoilers if you haven’t read it yet.) It’s in Death & Honey, available in ebook and audio now with a skull and bees on the cover that looks like this:

Cover art by Galen Dara

If you want the super sweet limited print edition which is signed by all three of us and has exclusive cover art plus more color illustrations inside by Galen Dara, you can order from Subterranean Press and it looks like this:

All three of us? Heck yeah. As you’ve no doubt noticed, Death & Honey also contains novellas from NYT bestsellers Chuck Wendig and Delilah S. Dawson writing as Lila Bowen. They each wrote a novella connected to their larger series, as I did. If you’re already familiar with them, then woohoo! If not, this is a great introduction to their work. Chuck wrote a story featuring Wren from his Miriam Black series, and Delilah wrote a Rhett Walker story from her Shadow series. You know what? Here’s a peek:

In The Buzz Kill by Kevin Hearne, Oberon the Irish wolfhound and Starbuck the Boston Terrier sink their teeth into a new Meaty Mystery when they discover a body underneath a beehive in Tasmania. It’s been badly stung, but the bees aren’t at fault: This is homicide. The hounds recruit the help of their Druid, Atticus O’Sullivan, and the Tasmanian police to track down the killer in the interest of a reward—but this time, they want more than food and justice. 

Grist of Bees, by Delilah S. Dawson writing as Lila Bowen, follows Rhett Walker, who has given up his destiny as the monster-hunting Shadow to settle down with his beloved Sam. But when the call to action grows too strong, Rhett saddles up to follow a peculiar bee into the unforgiving desert. The bee leads him to a weeping mother in a strangely prosperous valley, and Rhett has no choice but to hunt the creature that’s stolen her child—even if it destroys a land of milk and honey.

Interlude: Tanager by Chuck Wendig returns us to the world of Miriam Black. Lauren “Wren” Martin is a young psychic woman who can see the stained souls of killers; it is her gift, or as she sees it, her curse. And up until now, it has been her mission to kill those killers, to remove them from the pattern so that they may not murder again. But now, after a death that may not have been deserved, she’s left rudderless, without plan or purpose, until a woman with a strange power of her own takes her in and gives her a new mission—and a new target.

We wrote this collection around bees and dead bodies because we did a collection a few years back called Three Slices that centered around cheese wizards. One just naturally had to follow the other, right? It’s only logical.

Super excited about the audio team on this: Luke Daniels narrates my story, Robin Miles narrates Delilah’s, and Xe Sands narrates Chuck’s. It’s available through Audible and iTunes.

If you’d like to pick up the ebook, it’s available via Kindle, Nook, or iBooks.

And again, to get that super fine limited edition print copy, order from Subterranean Press while you can; once they’re gone, they’re gone. Limited editions are definitely limited, as in there won’t be any reprints.

in other news, whoa dang:

I’ll be on tour in April with Delilah S. Dawson for No Country for Old Gnomes! We’ll be joined in places by Luke Daniels, Stephen Blackmoore, and Rachel Caine! Dates, times, and details on my Appearances page.

Kill the Farm Boy is now out in paperback if you haven’t visited the world of Pell yet!

A Blight of Blackwings, the second book in the Seven Kennings trilogy, is in edits and should be out next year—I’ll have a publication date for you in a few months.

The Princess Beard will be out in October! (That sleeping princess at the beginning of Kill the Farm Boy is going to wake up, y’all.)

I’m working on Ink & Sigil, a new series set in the Iron Druid universe that will be primarily set in Glasgow but will also visit Philadelphia and Chattanooga and other places! It’s so much fun. I just got back from a location scout in Glasgow and loved it there; what a great city and country!

Aaaaaaand, as if that were not enough: I have a special treat for y’all this summer. I’ve written an Owen and Slomo story—a novelette, really, at 15K words—called “First Dangle” that will be out in a collection of other Iron Druid shorts that have never been recorded before in audio. It will contain: “The Chapel Perilous,” “First Dangle,” “The Naughtiest Cherub,” “The Waters,” and a flash fiction sci-fi short I wrote called “Friendly Emily.” That’s to be narrated by Luke Daniels and I’ll also be recording some author notes—liner notes?—to go with them because I have a microphone and I wanna use it. I’ll give you a heads-up when I have a pub date.

That’s all! Hope you enjoy Death & Honey and the other goodies coming up. I’ve been working lots! Peace & tacos unto thee. Thanks so much for reading.

Death & Honey Doodads

January 31, 2019

For all y’all wishing for some more Atticus, Oberon, and Starbuck, you’ll find it in Death & Honey, out Feb. 28! It contains an Oberon’s Meaty Mystery set a few months after the events of Scourged, providing a happy coda to the series. You’ll also find a Wren story from Chuck Wendig‘s Miriam Black series, and a Rhett Walker novella from Delilah S. Dawson writing as Lila Bowen from her Shadow series.

Preorder Death & Honey before Feb. 28 in any format—print, ebook, or audio—and send proof (like a screenshot of your confirmation) to info at kevinhearne dot com, and you’ll be entered to win stuff! What stuff? THIS STUFF.

The grand prize winner (chosen randomly and announced March 1) will get signed copies of Scourged, Wake of Vultures, and a signed hardcover copy of Vultures with a handy-dandy customized death prediction! Plus signed posters of cover art from Scourged and The Purloined Poodle.

Five more winners will get the signed Scourged poster. This is open to readers in the US and Canada. So yay! Look for this, y’all:

You can preorder a signed, limited print edition from Subterranean Press, and dang it’s nice. It includes exclusive cover art and three color illustrations too (including one of Oberon and Starbuck!), and there’s an option for a lettered edition bound in leather in a gorgeous tray case.

You can preorder the ebook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes. (Sorry, no Kobo or Google Play.)

You can preorder the audio from Audible. It’s narrated by an all-star lineup of Luke Daniels for my story, Robin Miles for Delilah’s, and Xe Sands for Chuck’s.

Again: Preorder before Feb. 28. Take a screencap of your confirmation. Send to info at kevinhearne dot com. If you already preordered, yep, you can enter! Thank you, please send your proof!

So that’s it! We wanted to do a thing to thank you for preordering. It’s just the bestest thing and we appreciate it so much. Hope you enjoy these stories!

NaNoWriMo Post-Mortem

December 1, 2018

Every month for me is novel writing month, but I participated this year via the NaNoWriMo website to try to reach that 50K-word goal on my current project and just document my progress. You’ll never believe what happened next!

Well, you probably will believe it. Especially since I have pictures. Here’s a screenshot of my stats after the last day’s work, from the NaNoWriMo site:

That average per day is the key takeaway for me, because going into this I told folks, including myself, that I average a thousand words a day without any proof. Nice to see that confirmed. But lookit, I can break it down! 

So yeah, I started out strong! First five days were all over the 1,667 average you need per day to hit the 50K mark. And then…the election happened on the 6th and even though I voted by mail a month earlier I just worried about it all day and the next as results came in. On Nov. 10, that goose egg was for the best reason. My kid was home from college and I spent the day with family.

Then the tough part of November arrived with a double whammy. I got page proofs for No Country for Old Gnomes right before Thanksgiving and I needed to turn those around quickly and send them to my co-author, Delilah S. Dawson. That basically began a week of lackluster word counts, but I recovered in the last few days and wound up with an average word count of about 1200 words a day. 

That’s how I roll: Try to write 30K a month. I didn’t even get within spitting distance of 50K, but writing close to 36K for November was nice, especially since I’ve been trying to get 30K minimum each month on A Blight of Blackwings. I began drafting in earnest in August, wanted to be at 120K at the end of November, and I’m at 122K. I’ve decided that’s earned me A WHOLE DAY OFF. Today. Though I’m still blogging and thinking about what I’m writing tomorrow. But I’m going to take Kimberly to see her first live hockey game so that’s gonna be fun.

I hope your writing is going well if you’re a writer. And if you’re a reader I hope you have a good story at your elbow.

In other news: I have TWO! whole appearances coming in the winter, one of which is this week!

Atlanta Area Peeps

I’ll be at FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, GA at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, Dec. 4! Great time to get some books signed for gifts, eh? Also: If you come to this you’ll be the first peeps in the world to hear a reading from my new series in the Iron Druid universe! If you can’t make it, maybe someone you know can—please spread the word! Or you can call FoxTale and ask them to have me sign whatever you want and they will ship to you!

Pittsburgh Area Peeps

I’ll be in Greensburg, PA at Seton Hill University on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 7 pm. I’m actually gonna be at the Carol Reichgut Concert Hall so please bring all of your horde. There will be only three titles for sale there: Hounded, A Plague of Giants, and Kill the Farm Boy. You’re welcome to bring anything else you’d like signed. You need a ticket for the event BUT it’s free! Click here to snag one or five or whatever you need

Moar Oberon!

A new Oberon’s Meaty Mystery, a coda to the Iron Druid Chronicles featuring Atticus, Oberon, and Starbuck in Tasmania, is coming Feb. 28 in Death & Honey. Right now you can preorder the signed limited edition by Subterranean Press, which includes interior illustrations as well as novellas by NYT bestsellers Chuck Wendig and Delilah S. Dawson writing as Lila Bowen. It’s gorgeous and the art is exclusive to that print edition. You can also preorder the ebook on Kindle and Nook, which has a different cover but the stories inside are all the same. The audio is coming too—Luke Daniels narrating Oberon!—but it’s not up for preorder quite yet. 

Since my blogging is sporadic at best, let me wish you warm fuzzies and hot sauce to you and yours over the holidays.

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