Game of Thrones… for teens

Cool list of YA books for fans of Game of Thrones. Features Pantomime! Amy is the author of The Oathbreaker’s Shadow & the upcoming The Shadow’s Curse. Awesome, diverse fantasy!

Amy Alward

(This is a repost from my Tumblr)

With all the success of fantasy fiction recently, we’ve all heard the ‘Game of Thrones for teens’ marketing line applied to YA epic fantasy. But which books really stand up to that marker? The truth is, most books can’t match the complete depth and breadth of A Song of Ice and Fire but many do have elements that will appeal to lovers of GRRM. Here’s my take on the best ‘Game of Thrones for teens’ books and who they’d appeal to:

If you love… Tyrion Lannister. A flawed hero who steals every scene he’s in.

tyrion
half

You’ll want to read… HALF A KING by Joe Abercrombie

Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains, and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea. And he must do it all with only one good hand.

If…

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Recent Links and Things: Examiner.com, Glaze Launch, etc.

I’ve been interviewed for the Bisexual Book column over at Examiner.com!

Jim at YA Yeah Yeah discusses My Indie Bookshelf, and he included Pantomime as one of his recommendations 🙂 It’s a cool programme because if you buy via these recommendations, then a small percentage goes to the indie bookshop of your choice to help support them.

I was on an SF Signal mind meld about things I’ve learned since being a debut author, along with a lot of other great folks.

This past weekend I was down in London for the launch of my friend Kim Curran’s awesome new book, Glaze! It was at a cool cafe/pub by Waterloo station called Topolski, and it was a great turn out. Kim has been hard at work lately on a blog tour and launching it. Her publication story for this book is interesting – she self-published it, yet ended up partnering with the small press, Jurassic, to provide a (gorgeous) limited edition hard copy.

Here’s some info about Glaze:

GLAZEBuying options

UK ebook

US ebook

PETRI QUINN is counting down the days till she turns 16 and can get on GLAZE – the ultimate social network that is bringing the whole world together into one global family. But when a peaceful government protest turns into a full-blown riot with Petri shouldering the blame, she’s handed a ban. Her life is over before it’s even started.

Desperate to be a part of the hooked-up society, Petri finds an underground hacker group and gets a black market chip fitted. But this chip has a problem: it has no filter and no off switch. Petri can see everything happening on GLAZE, all the time. Including things she was never meant to see.

As her life is plunged into danger, Petri is faced with a choice. Join GLAZE… or destroy it.

I blurbed it!

‘In Glaze, Petri is a strong heroine, desperate to be part of the hooked-up society, only to discover that it’s not the paradise promised – quite the opposite, in fact. Glaze is reminiscent of authors like Scott Westerfeld, yet Curran has a voice all her own, and she’s one of the strongest YA writers in science fiction today.’ – Laura Lam, author of Pantomime & Shadowplay

 

Elliot Rodger And Men Who Hate Women

The Belle Jar

TW for violence against women, misogynistic language, violent language

Last night, a 22 year old man named Elliot Rodger killed six women and injured seven more in what most news outlets are describing as a “shooting rampage.” Rodger died later that night from a gunshot wound to his head, though it’s still unclear as to whether or not it was self-inflicted or from responding deputies shooting back after he opened fire on them.

Almost everything I’ve read about him has referred to him as a “madman” or “mentally ill.”

No. We have no evidence yet that he suffered from any kind of mental illness or was under any sort of treatment. Immediately claiming that with no proof to back that fact up leads to the further stigmatization of the mentally ill, and contributes to the (incorrect) assumption that mental illness equals violence, and vice versa.

We don’t know whether Elliot Rodger was…

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My First Race: The Baker Hughes 10k

raceI never thought I’d run a race.

My senior year of university, I landed badly while doing a flip for my capoeira class. It twinged and then grew worse and worse, until I’d found out I’d sprained it in 2 places and had tendonitis. I had to be on crutches and then wear a walking cast for about 6 weeks. But that started a bunch of other problems. Because the right ankle was weakened, I kept spraining the left ankle. The ankle wouldn’t have a chance to grow stronger, even with physio, before I’d sprain it again. I spent over 1/3 of my last year of university in a walking cast. At one point I thought I might have to have surgery. I kept spraining them in increasingly lame ways. First it was the flip, then falling down stairs, then walking around, and once SITTING IN CLASS. My friend Collin had to carry me to his car and drive me to the emergency room at 10 at night, and my podiatrist didn’t believe me when I told her I’d done it while fidgeting at the end of class.

It was really annoying. Before I started spraining my ankles I was in really good shape, and then for about a year I couldn’t exercise much except for the exercise bike in my garage.

We finally figured out it was a combination of hypermobile ligaments and the fact that my left leg is slightly shorter than my right, so it put more stress on it. After another round of physio and shoe inserts and better shoes, I stopped tripping over myself and spraining my ankles so much. But I was still afraid to run outside because of the uneven ground, so I ran on treadmills for a long time. This year I started running outside and I’ve been fine (cross fingers). So I signed up for my first race with some work colleagues.

I wasn’t super fast, but I finished and ran pretty much the whole time. I finished in 1 hour, 5 minutes, and 52 seconds. I had fun. Craig took a video of me running past the finish line, raising my hands up high. It was a good feeling. I’m going to do it again.

Vestigial Tales: “The Snake Charm” Blurb and Cover!

“The Snake Charm” is the first story in my Vestigial Tales series. This year, I’ll release two short stories and two novellas set in the world of Pantomime & Shadowplay.

As you might have gathered if you follow me on social media, the third book in the series is unfortunately going to be slightly delayed for several reasons; however, I hope these tales help tide you over.

Without further ado…

the-snake-charm-cover

Untold centuries ago, the Archipelago was ruled by the Alder—mysterious beings who vanished, leaving behind only scattered artefacts of unknown power, called Vestige. Sometimes, a person will be lucky or unlucky enough to discover that each piece of Vestige has its own tale to tell…

The Snake Charm

“To most, Drystan was just another buffoon in the collective of clowns. But behind the inane grin, he saw everything, keeping the secrets he discovered close, like precious gems to barter.”

Mutiny is brewing in R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic. When Linden, the leader of the clowns steals one of the ringmaster’s most prized possessions, Drystan, the white clown, finds himself caught in the middle. Tasked with retrieving the Lethe, he’s forced to betray Linden or risk his troubled past coming to light. But the Vestige artifact has its own history and its own power. Drystan will learn what it can really do, and who it can hurt.

Vestigial Tales are stories set in the world of the award-nominated Micah Grey series. Step behind the circus ring from Pantomime, the theatre of Shadowplay, and more…

The artwork is by the exceptionally talented Dianna Walla of Paper Tiger. Each cover will look like a tarot card, and she did an amazing job with the first one!

This one will be coming some time in June. I’ve sent off the ISBN application request and the story is in the final stages of edits, so it’s all coming together!

Pantomime is the Scottish Book Trust Teens Book of the Month!

scottishbooktrust

Bit of good news! Pantomime has been selected by the Scottish Book Trust as the Teens Book of the Month! If you follow the link and answer the question you have the chance to win 1 of 5 copies. No one has commented yet so the odds are good!

The Scottish Book Trust promotes literacy, reading, and writing in Scotland, working with children, teens, teachers, authors, librarians, and more. I first learned of them when I worked in the library, because many libraries throughout Scotland have Bookbug sessions, where parents can bring under 5s for singing and stories, and parents can receive free book bags from their GP. Here’s 10 Things to Know About the Scottish Book Trust.

I’m very excited to be Teen Book of the Month, and I hope it results in more people meeting Micah Grey :-). If you’re interested in learning more, here’s the book page with the blurb and ordering info!

In other news, Pantomime was also mentioned on the Guardian today, in this great article on GLBT YA/childrens literature. There’s loads of good suggestions, and it’s great to see the newspaper highlighting diversity in books. Chapters Indigo, the Canadian bookstore, also made a diversity in YA book list, which features Pantomime as well as other wonderful books like The Oathbreaker’s Shadow, More Than This, and many others. It really feels like people are responding well to #WeNeedDiverseBooks.

Anyone on Tumblr, here’s my giveaway on there that ends on the 15th. Please reblog for a chance to win!

In non-book-related news, I’ve been spending the last few days in Gretna Green for Elizabeth May’s wedding! The ceremony was beautiful and the village so adorable. Back home and back to the usual schedule tomorrow.

 

My Scribblings so far in 2014: Second Update

writing2

And so the year is already 1/3 over – how did that happen?

I’m still keeping track of what writing work I’m doing every day, and it’s still proving to be very motivating. At the moment, none of my projects are under contract or deadline, but by keeping track and giving myself my own deadlines, I’m making strides in the things I want to get done this year.

So, since the beginning of the year:

Total words: 106,700 words
Fiction: 84,800 words
The rest: this blog and guest posts

Projects in March & April:

Edited Bonkers Book again (smaller line edit rather than the big structural one I did earlier in the year)
Edited a short story called “The Mechanical Minotaur.” I was going to put it up this summer with the rest of my Vestigial Tales, but now it has loads of Pantomime3 spoilers so it’ll have to go up next year instead.
Drafted and edited a novella starring Cyan from Shadowplay called “The Tarot Reader.” Currently out with betas.
Researched and tentatively started my Cranky Ladies story about Jeanne de Clisson, the Lioness of Brittany. Only about 1k in so far.
Wrote about 15k of a project code-named Beloved Book. You can probably guess what book this is.

The start of April I was super productive, but then after Eastercon work has tailed off. I think my brain needs a bit of a break, and I’m waiting on a few things. Gearing myself to get back into productivity soon.

Aim for the next two months:

Finish the Cranky Ladies story.
Edit my Drystan novella, “The Card Sharp,” and get it out to betas.
Integrate “The Tarot Reader” beta comments.
Make more progress on Beloved Book.
Get the first Vestigial Tale, “The Shake Charm,” out into the world.