I love to travel and to share photos, but on the blog I figure I shouldn’t inundate you with all 300odd photos we took on our trip away. So here are ten shots I think best summarise my long weekend of sun in Spain.
Drum Castle is another Aberdeenshire castle, based near Drumoak. Clan Irvine owned it. It has a tower house from the 13th century but was greatly expanded during the Victorian era, as with most castles.
It’s also said to be haunted, though it doesn’t have as many ghost stories as other castles. One ghost is a female figure who might be Anna Forbes, wife to one of the Lairds of the castle. The castle is well-preserved and has a gorgeous library. The grounds are lovely, with 17th century rose gardens and a wee chapel which is still often used for weddings. I couldn’t find as much information on it as Craigevar, but I have a fair few photos from the two visits I’ve taken to it.
I was procrastinating on all the various things I should do and poking around what my FB page looks like to the public again. It’s sort of fun doing that because the only content that is visible is stuff from around 2007, so it’s like I step back in time. This time I found a link to a bunch of my artwork I had photographed and put up in a contest. They didn’t win. What’s sort of strange though is that some of the motifs I drew are now in my fiction.
I used to draw quite often. I found it soothing, and the intricate ones were especially good for my anxiety. I’d listen to music full blast and draw away, my mind wandering, feeling calm. Even if the pieces look anything other than calm.
When I have more time (if I ever have more time), I’d like to get back into art with ink and graphite instead of just art with the printed word.
There are more below the cut (warning: there’s one drawing of a nude woman):
A few days ago, the final version of Pantomime arrived. This was a moment I’d been idly daydreaming about since I was 14, and maybe even earlier than that. It’s one of the last milestones–ones I’m still looking forward to are signing my book for a stranger and walking into a bookshop and seeing my book on the shelves, plus others to come.
Wednesday night, I had just come back from the gym and I was starving, sweaty, and tired. None of that mattered when I opened the box and saw 20 copies of my book. I burst into tears–I was absolutely overwhelmed. There they were. Finished Pantomime, all grown up and ready to go into the world. When I could breathe again, I ate some food, waited until my face stopped being all splotchy, and took this photo.
A few days later, I went out for a meal with my husband’s family to celebrate the engagement of my brother-in-law and soon-to-be-sister-in-law. I gave a copy to each brother and their fiancees, and a copy to Craig’s parents. I was able to sign my first copies in an Indian restaurant.
So that was really amazing.
It’s one week until the US launch and 9 days until the UK launch. I’m torn between excitement and fear. It’s never far from my mind. It feels like another farewell and yet a new beginning. Evidently Pantomime is already shipping to those who pre-ordered on Amazon UK. I’ll be a published author with my book in bookshops, just like I’ve always wanted. Aiiee!
On one last marketing note, we’re running another Goodreads giveaway, this time for a signed final edition of Pantomime.
My work had an outing, where we hiked through the woods in Stonehaven, visited Dunnottar Castle, and then came back for dinner in the village. It was a gorgeous day and I took some pictures. Dunnottar Castle is one of the first castles I visited when I came to Scotland over the summer of 2005, and it’s still one of my favourites. It’s in ruins, and its starkness makes it feel more real and historic compared to some of the castles that are frozen in the Victorian era.
Yes, I realise my photography skills are not the greatest. The horizon is definitely not level in a couple of these photos.
Yesterday, my editor posted this photograph:
Today, I get to post this photo:
Lastly, I’m on a Waiting on Wednesday post at Breathe in Books where Krista says Pantomime sounds like a cross between The Night Circus and Daughter of Smoke and Bone!
I’ve had two new endorsements come through recently, both of which I was very honoured to receive:
“In PANTOMIME, Laura Lam has created a world which will take your breath away, and characters you will never want to leave. Enchanting.”
-Lou Morgan, author of Blood and Feathers
“A lyrical, stunningly written debut novel, which set my heart racing with every lift of the trapeze. In Micah we have one of the most original – and likeable – protagonists I’ve read in a long time. An author to watch, without a doubt.”
- Amy McCulloch, author of The Oathbreaker’s Shadow
I also found this photo of us at the Strange Chemistry launch on KatieA3′s Flickr:
And lastly, one of Ms Robards’ students, Caroline, sent me this photo from after my first talk at Hayward High. I have her permission to post it. They’re posing with my Kindle, which has Pantomime on it.
I am still recovering from the Chicago Worldcon, but it was a blast. Here’s some bulletpoints of the week:
(Note to any teens reading this: I do not condone underage drinking!)
…As you can see, food played a big role. The week was a lot of hanging around, eating, drinking, and uh, not going to many panels on my part. Or um, any. I kept meaning to go, but never got around to it. The next con I’m going to I’m going to plan my time better.
That’s not to say I was in the Big Bar the entire time. Because the Angry Robots took over Worldcon, we did a few events. We went out for pizza, we went bowling, and there was a book reading at The Book Cellar (where you can buy beer! Bookstores, take note: this is a possible future). I went to the Tor party and sat through part of the Hugos, but it was so packed I couldn’t stand in the back the entire time, so we followed via Twitter in the bar. Again.
I was really impressed by the Hugos, which I’d not followed that closely in previous years. Out of the 17 categories, 11 of the wins were of women, and there was a good parity between genders in the nominations. As so many award ceremonies have been male dominated, that was refreshing. Another goal next year is to read all the nominations next year and vote.
This con was a lot about meeting people I’ve known online for some time. Foremost was meeting Wesley Chu, who I chat to on gchat pretty much every day, so meeting in person and staying at his house was a treat. Also invading Wesley, his lovely wife Paula, and their dog Eva’s home was my husband, Craig, my editor, Amanda Rutter, and Adam Christopher.
I also met many of my Strange Chemistry and Angry Robot stablemates for the first time: Gwenda Bond, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Ramez Naam, his girlfriend Molly, Lee Collins, his girlfriend Victoria, Chuck Wendig, and Matt Forbeck. Saw Lee Harris, Anne Lyle and Kim Curran again. New people met: Mur Lafferty, Stephen Blackmore, Stacia Decker, Anne Zanoni, and Josh Vogt.
Also, I said a brief awkward hello to Neil Gaiman (photographic proof to the left!) and then ran away from Neil Gaiman to say a quick hello to Scott Lynch, who is one of my favourite authors. Yay! I’m sure I’ve forgotten people and will have to go back and slyly edit this.
Overall, it was a great, if exhausting week. Now I’m in California hanging out with my family, so stay tuned for a California post later!
Someone found my blog today by searching “miss lam take a book of dinosaurs.”
What a kind offer, stranger! But look, I’ve taken one in the past. Here’s me reading Dinotopia. RIP Borders.
Hope everyone’s having a nice weekend! I’ve got my nose down, trying to get lots done. My laptop keeps intermittently giving me the blue screen of death, though. Soldier on, my dear laptop!
I went to Edinburgh with my mum earlier in January. Here’s a few photos from the trip. I love Edinburgh, and this was my first time going for longer than just a day trip or sleeping over one night. I felt like I got more of a sense of the city.
I love getting away from the computer screen (where I spent a goodly portion of my life), and exploring and seeing new places and things. All of it is spirited away in a corner of my subconscious, to come out in my writing at some undefined point in the future.
I’ve attached some photos in a slideshow below. They were taken with my mum’s camera, which isn’t very good at taking photos indoors.