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Happy New Year, 2018

Season’s greetings!

I’ve been a little lax about updating this blog, so here’s a quick look on writerly matters going forward. First, the book I’ve been working on for a while, a standalone novel (tentatively titled, ta da… THE LIST: A NOVEL) is FINALLY done (yay!) and has gotten the thumbs-up from my agent (double yay!). Stay tuned for details of the how and when of publication.

Meanwhile and second, I’ve started a NEW book, which is, somewhat unexpectedly, coming along at a good clip (assuming I haven’t just jinxed myself by writing that). I’m about a third of my way into the first draft.

(As an aside, someone asked me how I can say 1/3 with any certainty since I won’t know the book’s exact length until I’ve finished writing the full draft. The answer is that the more you write, the more you get a feel for these things — this one, I’m thinking, will end up being around 75,000 words and I’m at just about 26,000. Plus I’m getting better at sticking to my outlines…or, rather, I’m getting better at making the outline be CLOSER to the story I end up writing. The current outline is still turning out to be very fluid, but it helps provide structure to the whole project and road-side posts along the way.

I’ll have to see how it plays out, but I’m thinking this new one might make a good series starter and might end up being Book 1 of three.)

Thirdly and most importantly, I wanted to thank everyone who supports my writing by buying my books, reading my early drafts, giving me feedback, and engaging with me via email or social media. I am grateful for you all!

With that all said, I’ll wrap up this brief update by wishing you and yours a happy holiday season and a GREAT 2018! I hope the new year brings some calmer seas to the world as a whole and many good, exciting things your way!

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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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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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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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News This Third Week of June

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer (or winter, depending on which part of the world you’re in). Lots of rain, green, and mosquitoes here.

Over on Chris Henderson’s blog, TheWriteChris, I talk about Writing Sci-Fi and Making it Real. Chris sent me a list of insightful questions, such as What’s the best advice about writing you want to pass along? Spoiler alert — I quote Neil Gaiman in the answer.


The sequel to The Far Time Incident has gone into the developmental edit and I’ve been reworking the draft based on feedback from my editor, Angela Polidoro. Angela is fantastic at her job, somehow managing to zero in on small, sentence-scale issues while simultaneously keeping her finger on the big-picture pulse of the story. This stage of things is both fun and stressful, as I’m making any last major changes to the story and watching it (hopefully!) all come together. 

Book 2 in the Incident series is slated for publication sometime in early 2014, which seems really far away, but there is a lot to be done between now and then for the book via the trusty hands of everyone at 47North. After the developmental edit, there’s the copyedit, the proofread, cover design and promo text, Advance Reader Copies to be printed and sent out, and whatever else I might have forgotten to put on the list! Rolling up sleeves and getting back to work…

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News on This First Week of May

Today’s news is that the big May snowstorm veered off at the last minute and just missed us — towns just south of us got 8+ inches, but our lawn stayed green. Also that I was invited to write a guest post for the Kindle Daily Post. The topic suggested was What are your five favorite time travel novels? Had I thought about it really deeply, it would have been hard to choose from all the great time travel novels out there, so instead I went with the more straightforward method of listing the first five books that popped into my head (figuring that was a sure-fire way of guaranteeing they were my favorites). Read my guest post here and let me know what your favorite time travel novels are!

In other news, I’m doing a giveaway on Goodreads for both the new book and my first one. If you’re a Goodreads member, you can enter to win a signed copy of The Far Time Incident or Regarding Ducks and Universes (or both!). The giveaway runs until May 13.

Finally, The Far Time Incident has been picked by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Kindle editors for their list of books “no self-respecting geek should go without,” which is, of course, unbelievably cool. I don’t know how often they change or update these lists, but for now you can spot the book there, nestled between Flatland and Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle. Like I said, very cool stuff.

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Audio Book News – Mary Robinette Kowal

The Far Time Incident has found an awesome narrator in Mary Robinette Kowal. I cannot wait to hear the audio book — it comes out the same day as the print and Kindle editions, April 9. Here is Mary’s bio from her website:  

Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of Shades of Milk and Honey (Tor, 2010) and Glamour in Glass (Tor, 2012). In 2008 she received the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and in 2011, her short story “For Want of a Nail” won the Hugo Award for Short Story. Her work has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards. Her stories appear in Asimov’sClarkesworld, and several Year’s Best anthologies. Mary, a professional puppeteer, also performs as a voice actor, recording fiction for authors such as Elizabeth Bear, Cory Doctorow and John Scalzi. She lives in Chicago with her husband Rob and over a dozen manual typewriters. Visit www.maryrobinettekowal.com

I am so glad that the book is in such experienced hands (note that Mary is not only a Hugo Award winner but also a puppeteer — how cool is that?). Early last week we fine-tuned the pronunciation of the Latin names and words in the Pompeii section of the book, something I didn’t pay a lot of attention to in the writing stage. Mary needed to know whether to use Classical Latin or the more modern (Ecclesiastical) Latin. (As an example, Veni, vidi, vici would have been way-nee, wee-dee, wee-kee originally.) We settled on having her use Classical in the short bits of dialogue with Pompeian locals Sabina, Secundus, and others, and the more familiar modern Latin for place names and such. And yes, I’m going to be more aware of this side of things from now on, and maybe think twice before incorporating tongue-twisters like Gnaeus Alleius Nigidius Maius (who was a real person, by the way) into the manuscript. Mary seemed to take it all in stride, though.

As an added bonus, Mary’s own books sound right up my alley and will make for great reading on our upcoming winter break. Other things to look forward to are seeing family and feeling that warm Florida sunshine… Bone-chilling subzero temperatures here this week.

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A Publication Date and New Editions

A couple of weeks ago, I learned a bit about how an audio book gets made—the audio version of Regarding Ducks and Universes is being recorded by the lovely people at BrillianceAudio, with the talented Alexander Cendese narrating. Mainly I learned that there wasn’t much for me as the author to do, as my contribution consisted of supplying preferred pronunciations of names (Mrs. Noor, to rhyme with “sure”) and of words unique to the novel (macar tree, ma-CAR; yabput, YAAB-poot), all of which took about fifteen minutes. I’m very much looking forward to “hearing” the story — the audio book is available for pre-order and will be released on November 6, 2012.

Another bit of exciting news is that a German translation of Regarding Ducks is in the works, through Amazon Crossing (as translated by Peter Friedrich, author and translator). I don’t have many details yet, only the thought that being a translator is probably hard enough without having to deal with finding German language counterparts for made-up terms such as A-dweller, B-dweller, and yabput. (I speak from experience, being bilingual and needing occasionally to translate a phrase in one direction or the other for a family member. There is an art to it. I tend to flounder and say, “uh,” a lot.) But Peter sent me a nice note saying he had fun translating the book, so perhaps it’s all in a day’s work when you do it for a living….

Finally, the publication date for the novel I’ve been working on for the past year, The Far-Time Incident, has been set—March 26, 2013, which would seem like a long time away, except that I know there’s a lot to get done before the big day. This month the final edits are going in with the help of my editor extraordinaire, Angela Polidoro, after which there’ll be cover choices to make, the polishing of the back blurb, the proofreading of the ARC… All great fun.