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Summer Sale!

Summer sale! Regarding Ducks and Universes is on sale for all of June on Kindle. Mystery! Parallel universes! Ducks!

The book is part of a promotion, “150 Kindle books for $1.50″. You can find all the included books here.



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Rosemount Book Fair

Meant to post this earlier in the week, but here we are. If you’re in the neighborhood, I’ll be signing books at the Rosemount Book Fair this Saturday, March 18! Come for the books, come for the workshops, or stop by just to hang out with authors and chat. Doors open at 9:30 a.m; the book fair starts at 10:30 a.m. and runs till 4:30 p.m. Hope to see you there!
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NEW YEAR

Happy New Year, one and all!
Over the holidays I’ve been re-reading Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; if you haven’t read this sci-fi classic before, I highly recommend it if you’re looking for something lighthearted, original, or just plain funny to read.
Even though we own the hardcovers of the books, I’ve been reading Hitchhiker’s on my Kindle app, which is is always a little odd at first. The familiar opening (“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun…”) just looks strange on a digital screen instead of on a crisp white page…but I’ve just about switched all my reading to the Kindle, so no going back there. As it should be — always forward we go.
(The link above takes you to the Kindle edition, all books in the series for $13.99 — not a bad deal for five full length novels.)
The reason I bring up that particular book is that lately I’ve been thinking about the power of books to be whatever you need them to be. This December, I yearned for a lighthearted read and I knew I could find it in Adams’s world. On planes, I like to read more thriller-y stuff. Occasionally I’ll reach for a cozy mystery. Etc. The last non-fiction book I read was the tale of Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated Antarctic voyage, Endurance. I may have read it during the last week of the election. I may have also skipped over the dog parts.
Books are like that. Whatever you’re feeling, there’s always a book to meet you half way. If my own novels have offered anyone a few hours’ worth of an enjoyable escape into the imaginary…well, that makes me a very lucky writer indeed.
This quote from E. B. White summarizes it well:  “Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.”
I know we’re all book lovers here, so I won’t belabor the point, other than to say this: Here’s hoping that 2017 brings you a memorable/just-what-you-needed read or two and many lovely, good things!
Neve
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Update on the New Book

A brief update on the new book: it’s taking longer than expected.

In somewhat more detail: the working title is just that (“The New Book”) and there’s a full draft of just under ninety thousand words, or 300 pages. The story takes place in near-future Seattle. I’m in the process of incorporating early feedback from beta readers — my agent and a couple of writer friends who kindly agreed to take a look at the manuscript.

How long will this editing pass take? Hard to say. I’m making slow and steady progress. In general I’ve found that where the creative process is concerned, that’s what seems to work best for me — not trying to rush things. Deadlines often require moving along fast, which can be both good and bad, but this time around I have the luxury of being able to take my time.

Which is not to say that I’m spending my days reclined on the couch with my back turned to the computer and my feet up, reading election news on my iPad mini and eating endless chocolate bars to help with the digesting of the election news. Just that getting the story to the level where it needs to be requires some thought as I edit the manuscript (Does this scene do its job of propelling the story along or should it be cut? Can I make that sentence snappier? Would a different word work better in establishing the world building of the story? You get the idea.) This past week I cut ten pages total, consisting of bits and pieces that were bogging down the early parts of the book. Yay!

Which is all another way of saying that, like with most things, it’s worth taking the time to get it right. 
There may still be chocolate involved.
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AnomalyCon Recap

Yesterday was a travel day plus the frame of my reading glasses broke so I couldn’t see well enough to post, but now I’m back home and the glasses have been fixed. I had an absolutely fantastic time at AnomalyCon in Denver. I missed the big blizzard by a day or so — the snow had already mostly melted by the time I got there. The con runs from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon and there are various activities and panels, the main focus being Steampunk, which, for those of you who haven’t come across it before, is a sort of a Victorian era sci-fiI got to meet a lot of wonderful, enthusiastic, welcoming people: writer friends I had never met in person before (Stant Litore and Richard Preston, great to connect face to face!), lovely readers who stopped by my table to ask about my books and share their own stories, fellow panelists (all much more engaging and charismatic than I managed to be), book-table neighbors happy to answer my questions or just spend time chatting, costumed attendees walking around… in other words, just a lot of great people who share a love of science fiction and fantasy. 
I wish I’d gotten pictures of everyone’s Steampunk costumes but I always feel odd asking strangers if I can take their picture to post on my blog or Facebook. I ESPECIALLY wish I’d gotten a picture of the steampunk dog that was led past my table, but I didn’t so you’ll just have to take my word for it that there was indeed one there. (edit: This site has a lot of pictures from the con, if you’re interested; alas, none of the dog.)

I can’t recommend AnomalyCon highly enough if you are ever in the area — next year’s dates are sometime mid-March, I think. The pictures below are of me setting up my book table early on Saturday morning and looking only half awake, and the view of the mountains from the top floor of the hotel. 
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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.