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AnomalyCon 2016

Just a quick note to say that I’ll be attending AnomalyCon this year as a panelist. What is AnomalyCon? It’s a science fiction/fantasy convention that takes place the last weekend of March in Denver. Its main focus is steampunk, but it encompasses everything from time travel to alternate history. As I have heard very good things about the conference, I’m very much looking forward to it and to meeting up with fellow Westmarchers there—Stant Litore, Melissa Olson, Richard Ellis Preston, and Roberto Calas.

If you’re in or near Denver, come and join the fun! There are panels, writing workshops, book signings, the weekend’s murder mystery, the somewhat frightening sounding Victorian swimsuit competitionand the delightfully intriguing activity of…tea dueling?
Here we must pause to check out the official rules of tea dueling on the AnomalyCon’s own website. The rules of tea dueling (or, as they spell it to give it the steampunk flavor, tea duelling) are these:

Two duelists sit across from each other at a table, each with a cup of tea and a biscuit (or cookie). 

On the count they dip their cookies in the tea, and then it’s a game to stare each other down until one lifts out his biscuit and tries to eat it. The winner is the one who both holds his biscuit in the longest AND gets the entire biscuit into his mouth without it breaking.

Now I’m not saying I’ll be participating (except maybe in the tea-drinking part from the sidelines) but tea dueling does bring to mind this hilarious real-life anecdote told by Douglas Adams.
If that’s not enough, you can come look for me at my book table (somewhere in the dealer’s room, I think) or drop by one of the panels I’ll be participating in:

Closing The Loop Editing and re-editing and outlining and reviewing and getting your book out to an agent…you have so much to do now that you’ve finished your first novel draft. Where do you go from here? Saturday 10:00 a.m. 

The Critic And Me Ever felt like something was terrible about three seconds after you finished it? This is about controlling your control freak and making things even with the doubt. Saturday 1:00 p.m.  

Time Travel and The World of Tomorrow Is Time Travel possible? Discuss ideas about time travel from various fictional resources, as well as real science strides being made toward travel through time. Saturday 3:00 p.m.  

Evolving The Writing Process Have an idea, but can’t seem to get started? The answer isn’t always just “Write write write!” Sunday 2:00 p.m. 

The Rules of Time Travel A practical primer for the traveler in all of us.  Sunday 3:00 p.m.

The full schedule can be found here.
In other, non-travel news, work of the new novel is progressing, but—as always—more slowly than I would like! I can never see the end of the tunnel until I’m actually there, which is why I don’t like to make predictions about when the book might be done. But I am closer to the end than the beginning, so that’s something.
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News This Third Week of October

If you receive these updates via email, as you can see, the newsletter has a new format! It’s now getting to you by way of Mailchimp rather than Feedburner. With any luck, the transition will go smoothly and the email won’t wither away in your spam folder…or, if it did go into spam, you’ve rescued it and are now reading this. As a side note, if the images aren’t displaying correctly, there is a link at the top with an option to view the email on the web.

My thanks to everyone who posted a review of The Feline Affair on Amazon, Goodreads, and other sites! Reviews help other readers find the story, and Amazon reviews are particularly important because without a certain number of them the site’s recommendation/also-bought algorithms won’t kick in. (Exactly how many reviews it takes no one outside of Amazon seems to know.) So whether you liked The Feline Affair, or thought it was just OK, or frankly not very good at all… please let other Amazon customers know by writing a line or two about the book.

In other news, I’ve been hard at work on a standalone novel (no title yet). This one is a little different in that it’s decided that it wants to be written not in the traditional past-tense narration (Once upon a time, there lived a King in the small kingdom of Wilderia…) but in the present tense (The king of the far-way planet of Wilderia sits on his throne. An unexpected visitor enters. The king, dispensing with a thousand years of protocol, rises to his feet in terror…) Examples of present-tense novels you may have read are The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The immediacy of the present tense works well for those (quite different) books and I’m finding that’s the case for my new novel as well. So it’s a little bit of an experiment, but hopefully a good one. (Also, so there’s no confusion—there are no kings in the new book!)

Finally, I leave you with a couple of photos of beautiful Minnesota autumn, taken at Applewood Orchard, just south of us. Most of the apples had been picked over this late in the season, but our small group–husband, son, and family friends–quite enjoyed the pumpkin-shaped corn maze!

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The Feline Affair — Release Day

The release day for The Feline Affair is here! The novelette is available only as an e-book on Amazon for now, but you can read it on pretty much any device. So if you don’t own a Kindle, no worries. You’ll still be able to read it on your computer, laptop, tablet, or cell phone — you’ll just need to download a free Kindle app first (instructions here). 


Mid-month, I sent out the advance MOBI/pdf copies to everyone who requested one. If you requested a copy and didn’t receive it — or missed my previous newsletter and would like to request one now — reply to this email letting me know. Or you can always send me an email at neve@nevemaslakovic.com.

I’m writing this on the way back from Worldcon so I’ll keep it short, but I wanted to repeat something I said when I sent out the MOBIs and pdfs – I am one lucky and grateful writer to have such wonderful readers! Thank you so much for all the lovely things you said in your emails, for supporting my writing, for taking the time to write Amazon and Goodreads reviews, for, in short, being the best readers a writer could hope for!

The Feline Affair is my first foray into the world of novelettes and I had a lot of fun writing it — I hope you have as much fun reading it.

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Cover Reveal: The Feline Affair

There’s news to report on the Incident series novelette front. The official publication date is August 25 and the title is (ta, da!)…The Feline Affair. My multi-talented friend Cynthia L. Moyer has whipped up a simply wonderful cover:  


The novelette has gone up for preorder on Kindle, but I’d like to send complimentary copies to my newsletter subscribers. (That’s you!) Just reply to this email letting me know if you’d prefer a mobi format (which can be read on your Kindle/iPad/tablet) or a pdf, and I’ll make a list and send the story along mid-August. If you don’t hear back from me by end of August, please ping me again.  

And if you haven’t signed up for my newsletter yet, quick, do it now! There is a sign up box to the left (here on my website) and you can email me at neve@nevemaslakovic.com to let me know which format you’d prefer.

The novelette takes place before the three books in the series and is about 50 pages long. And if you’re wondering where a cat comes into it…well, here’s the blurb:

A wager concerning a famous physics cat has everyone at St. Sunniva University’s time-travel lab choosing sides. Meanwhile, food has gone missing from the biology department fridge. Dean’s assistant Julia Olsen is on the case…or would be if the new chief of campus security didn’t stand in her way. Can Julia rise to the double challenge presented by one sneaky thief and one elusive historical cat? 

Set as a prequel to Neve Maslakovic’s time-travel series (The Far Time Incident, The Runestone Incident, and The Bellbottom Incident), the novelette The Feline Affair is a lively jaunt into science, history, and academia.

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News This Third Week of June

Hope everybody is having a good summer or, if it’s currently cold where you are, winter! I have two upcoming events to share with you and an update on the Incident series prequel short story.

First, I’ll be at CONvergence, here in Bloomington, in early July. Look for me on a couple of panels and at the “mass book signing”:

New Writers HOWTO Thursday, July 2, 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Group Signing Saturday, July 4, 2:00pm – 4:30pm

Dystopia in Humor/Humor in Dystopia  Sunday, July 5, 9:30am – 10:30am

The full con schedule is here.

Second, in August I’m going to be attending the World Science Fiction Convention, called Sasquan this year, in Spokane, Washington. I’ve never been to the convention, so it promises to be interesting! I’m looking forward to meeting in person author friends I’ve only connected to via Twitter and Facebook, and spending some time with the lovely people of 47North, my publisher. If you’re attending or live in the area, I’ll be at the following event:

        Meet the Authors of 47North!
        When: Saturday, August 22nd at 3:30-5:30pm
        Where: The Cedar Room at the Grand Hotel


I’ll have complimentary copies of The Far Time Incident to give out and sign. Hope to see you there!

The last bit of news is that the Incident series prequel short story has been upgraded to a novelette based on length. It’s currently in the editing stage–no cover yet. More details to come.
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Launch Day: The Bellbottom Incident

The Bellbottom Incident is now available both in paperback and on Kindle! You can find the book here in the US Kindle store, here in the UK store, and here in Canada. I’ve started to get some sales in Australia (*waves hello to Australians*) so I’m going to add that link as well.

Launch days tend to be somewhat of a bittersweet occasion. You’ve done all you can for the book and it’s now time to send it into the world and hope it finds its wings. That’s not quite true, of course, as there is still plenty that can be done and that needs to be done for the book — working on promotions, arranging giveaways, perhaps a book signing, and so forth. But mostly you’ve said good-bye to the characters, to the story.

That’s even more the case when it’s the last one in a series, as The Bellbottom Incident is; while there may be at least one short story to go along with the series, the three full length novels are done and it is time to clear the board and get cracking on that next idea.

So here’s hoping The Bellbottom Incident finds its wings. There’s already a nice 5-star review on Amazon to greet the book, and a giveaway happening on Goodreads. More to come!

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The Bellbottom Incident – paperback available early!

Psst! 

A bit of news just for my mailing list subscribers (well, and for anyone who follows me on Twitter or Facebook, and possibly some places I’ve forgotten my feed goes to…) Anyways, here it is: The Bellbottom Incident paperback has gone up on Amazon TEN DAYS EARLY. The Kindle version is still on track for release at the end of this month, March 31. But as of today, you can find the papeback for sale on Amazon US and on Amazon UK

Hope you all like this one and happy reading!


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Cover Reveal: The Bellbottom Incident

Amazon’s algorithms sent out the “Coming Soon” email this morning, sooner than I expected, so this isn’t exactly a cover unveiling as everyone can already see it on the Kindle preorder page.  But here goes anyway. Ta-da:

The Far Time Incident, the first book in the series, had a cover that was on the light side, off-white and gray. The Runestone Incident cover was mostly black with some red accents. So for this third one we went with lots of color, which also happened to match the time period the book takes place in. That it’s the seventies is pretty clear from the title, I think! TheBookDesigners get the credit for turning my vague word-sketch into a lovely and eye-catching cover.

Here is the back-page description:

Julia Olsen and Nate Kirkland, St. Sunniva University’s time-traveling crime-stoppers, are back and facing their toughest challenge yet in this third and final installment of the series. Sabina, their adopted niece from the lost city of Pompeii, has gone missing—in the bellbottom decade, of all places.  

The situation requires sharp investigative skills of the literary kind, as Sabina has managed to outwit History and disappear into parts unknown, with the only clues to her whereabouts hidden in a Kurt Vonnegut novel. But fiction and reality collide as it soon becomes clear that the consequences may be all too real…and all too high. Can Julia and her teammates rescue the out-of-her-time Sabina before the final, unstoppable showdown with History?  

Continuing where The Far Time Incident and The Runestone Incident leave off, The Bellbottom Incident brings the series to a gripping conclusion in this lively adventure through history, science, and literature.

Though only the Kindle book has gone up for preorder, there will be a print book of course, releasing the same day, March 31. This final book in the series comes to you via Westmarch Publishing, so there are some changes in how things got done, but none that should affect the reading experience itself, which is all that matters.

Thanks for supporting my books and hope you enjoy this one as much as I did writing it!

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Farewell 2014 Welcome 2015

Season’s greetings and best wishes for 2015! May the upcoming year treat you and yours well, and may any and all surprises be good ones.

I’m going to skip the obligatory recap of last year, as I feel it’s always better to look ahead than to sneak glances backward. Book-wise, here is where things stand going into the new year:

The publishing train for The Bellbottom Incident, the final book in the Incident series, is right on track, chugging on. We are in the middle of the copyediting stage and the book should be going up for preorder on Kindle in early January. The cover is all set and a publication date of March 31, 2015 for both the print and Kindle versions is looking likely.

I’m happy to report that The Runestone Incident is on this year’s longlist of nominees for the Minnesota Book Awards (you can find the whole list of nominees here; the book is about halfway down the page, in the Genre Fiction category). It’s very nice to see the book there, snuggled next to others of its kind. Finalists are announced at the end of January, so there’s not much to do at this point but keep fingers crossed. 

Back in November, I was invited to join a writers’ co-op, Westmarch Publishing, and I jumped at the chance. We are still in the early stages of organizing our group home, but you can take a peek at the website here. There are nine of us for now, that is to say, yours truly along with eight awesome authors who write everything from mysteries to zombie apocalypse stories to steampunk. Please check out their books when you get a chance!

I also have a short story in the works, a prequel to the Incident series. More details on that when (or possibly if) I can think of a good ending to the story.


As always, I’m thinking of what my next big project should be, while working on getting the current one (The Bellbottom Incident) out the door, but it’s entirely too early to reveal any details, so really I don’t even know why I put this paragraph in here.

Finally, in regards to conferences, I will be at next year’s CONvergence here in the Twin Cities, so look for me there in July of 2015.

Thanks for reading this blog and my books, and best wishes for 2015!

Neve
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Guest Post by Charlie N. Holmberg, author of The Paper Magician

Today I welcome Charlie N. Holmberg to the blog — her just-released young adult debut, The Paper Magician, is already rocking the Kindle bestseller lists! Charlie stopped by to talk about one of the less glamorous tasks faced by a writer, designing promotional materials, and how things didn’t quite go according to plan. Read on:

The making of the bookmarks for The Paper Magician was fun, but also ended up being quite a handful! This is namely due to my publisher’s decision to change the book’s cover literally days after the first set had been printed up. But it all worked out in the end.

Because The Paper Magician is my debut novel, I had never actually designed a bookmark before. That, and I’m not a designer, so I relied heavily on my friend Sara’s skills. (Sara has also done many a commission for me. She’s excellent.) For the bookmark, we decided to include a picture of Ceony, my protagonist. I sent Sara a description of what Ceony looked like, along with a few references pictures, and then got to work on the text.
There is NOT a lot of space on a bookmark for text, let me tell you that. I Googled several bookmark layouts and studied a few designs from fellow 47North authors to get an idea of what I should include. At first Sara and I tried using a logline for the book, but ultimately we went with a very trimmed-down version of the pitch. Trimming that sucker wasn’t the most fun thing I’ve done in my life. 😉 I also had to decide what authorly information to include, and ultimately kept it simple: just my website.
For the commission of Ceony, Sara originally tried the idea of her turning into paper, but the graphics weren’t coming out the way we wanted them to, so she used her genius to incorporate dozens of paper cranes. She matched the bookmark background to the cover and played up the snowflake motif to create the winning design:



Then the cover changed, but fortunately we weren’t back to square one. Sara changed the color scheme and had to nix the snowflakes, instead drawing out the diagram-like lines that decorate the second cover. She added some rolling paper effects as well, which I love, and we got bookmark #2!



I really lucked out using Sara as my designer, since she also happens to work for a printing company. 😉 As for the old bookmarks… we’ll just say they’re collector items.

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Homegrown in Salt Lake City, Charlie was raised a Trekkie with three sisters who also have boy names. She writes fantasy novels and does freelance editing on the side. She’s a proud BYU alumna, plays the ukulele, and owns too many pairs of glasses.
Amazon purchase page: http://amzn.to/1yjGbom