Friday, September 12, 2014

Mexico I am coming to you!

I can finally confirm that I am, in fact, coming to FIL in Guadalajara! Yippeee!!! I will post a schedule by and by, but it looks like I'll be there the first weekend of December. Can't wait to be back in Mexico! I really, really love Mexico :-)

FIL--both a trade show and a festival open to the public--is the most important book fair in the Spanish-speaking world, with 750,000 people attending!!!!! I can't even fathom that! As for Guadalajara, it is Mexico's second city, home to over four million people, and is known for mariachi music, tequila, handicrafts, and good weather. Sounds pretty awesome :-)

I will also be going to Mexico City after that. 
Info to come. Double yippee!!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Happy Book Birthday ILLUSIONS OF FATE!

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO KIERSTEN WHITE and ILLUSIONS OF FATE!!! This book. This book. When Kiersten characterized the hero as "Howl meets Mr. Darcy" I said GIVE IT TO ME NOW. Only, you know, politely. Pleeease give it to me now. Please?

And because Kiersten is lovely she did give it to me (thank you thank you thank you) and I spent a marvelous couple of days with said hero...and the heroine too of course whose book this actually is. And you should too! I love historical romance, and I love historical romance with magic even more, so this was a big treat. The system of magic is intriguing, the setting is wonderful, and the romance swoony. Stephanie Perkins called it "an absolute delight--a magical, sparkling, dangerous world with witty repartee and a romance that will light your heart on fire."

The back of the book says this:

"I did my best to keep you from crossing paths with this world. And I shall do my best to protect you now that you have."
The people of Albion are different from anyone Jessamin has ever known: harsh, uptight, and obsessed with wealth and rank. Jessamin knew as much when she left her sun-drenched island home to attend school in their gray, dreary, country. But she had no idea how different they truly were.
She never thought she would discover a house with doors that open onto a hundred corners of the city or a book that spends its days as a bird. She certainly never expected to become a pawn in a political and magical power struggle between the sinister Lord Downpike and the handsome, charming Finn Ackerly. And she never so much as imagined she'd win Finn's affections--or that one day his shadow would follow her every step.
Fortunately for Jessamin, fate has other ideas...

Publisher's Weekly describes the plot thus:

"White (A Chaos of Stars) claims the influence of Jane Austen on her latest fantasy, but the hero, Finn, is less reminiscent of Mr. Darcy than of Dorothy Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey — all nervy blond elegance. Like Wimsey, Finn has a nameless role to play in keeping the empire out of war (in this case, the magic-wielding nation of Albion). Finn falls in love at first sight, most inappropriately, with narrator Jessamin, an illegitimate 'island rat' whose father is a professor in Albion and whose mother is a marriage-obsessed native of Melei, a colony. Jessamin has blackmailed her father to gain entrance to an exclusive school, but she works in a hotel to make ends meet, a situation that allows for riffs on A Little Princess as Finn — and Finn's enemies — inflict their attention and wealth on her."

So celebrate this book birthday by going out to the bookstore or library, or ordering yourself a copy of ILLUSIONS OF FATE! 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Finally, Australia & New Zealand!!

I am coming. At last! I'm so excited! I've never been to Australia or New Zealand, and though this isn't the trip where I'm going to get to really experience much of either country, I will get to meet some book lovers, who are of course the BEST PART OF ANY COUNTRY! 

Here's the schedule of public events:


Wed, Aug 27 

Remuera Library 6:15 pm talk & signing
427 Remuera Road

Sat/Sun, Aug 30/31 

WORD Christchurch Writers & Readers Festival

Sat, Aug 30, 1-2 pm CREATING WORLDS: YA Fiction panel
Laini Taylor, Elizabeth Knox, Karen Healey, Tania Roxburg

Sun, Aug 31, 1-2 pm SUPERNATURALLY: Laini Taylor & Elizabeth Knox
In conversation

(Can I tell you how thrilled I am to meet Elizabeth Knox who is one of my favorite writers??? Very thrilled! Fantastic books: The Dreamhunter Duet and Mortal Fire (YA), and Wake (adult). Read them!)


Tues, Sept 2

City of Sydney Libraries: Custom House Library 6 pm talk & signing
31 Alfred Street, Circular Quay NSW

Wed, Sept 3

Little Bookroom: 6:30 pm talk & signing
5 Desgraves St., Melbourne

Fri, Sept 5 - Sun, Sept 7

Brisbane Writers Festival

I'm teaching a three-hour writing workshop! Please come!

Fri, Sept 5, 5-6 pm FANTASY: THIS WORLD & THE NEXT panel
Laini Taylor, Isobelle Carmody & Kirilee Baker talk with Trent Jamieson about diving into fantastical other worlds, and bringing some of the magical to this Muggle one

Sat, Sept 6, 10-11 am UNNATURAL CREATURES panel
Laini Taylor, Rjurik Davidson & John Pickrell in a discussion that will look at how weird and wonderful existing (and historical) creatures are, and how fantasy fiction borrows biology and zoology etc to create otherworldly beings -- how fake is fantasy really?

Sat, Sept 6, 3:45-4:30 LOVE YA: EPIC LOVE, STAR-CROSSED OR CURSED panel
Laini Taylor & Aimee Kaufman: Who are your book boyfriends? What books score high on your swoon scale? And are we doing ourselves any favors when real life can seem just a little bit awkward and tame by comparison? The agony and ecstasy of that all-encompassing, overwhelming, EPIC love in YA fiction.

Sun, Sept 7, 1-2 pm LAWS OF MAGIC panel
Laini Taylor, Rjurik Davidson, Trudi Canavan & Kirilee Barker discussing mythologies, legends, and magic systems in genre fiction.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Random Paris

Beautiful Paris. This is an uncurated slew of photos from our May/June trip, mostly not of famous monuments (though a couple sneak in!) I should be putting up pics of Comic Con (which was so much fun!) but this is quick and easy and I need to get photos of my hard drive because my laptop is FULL and I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. Life can't function if computer can't function. Don't want to go into my technical difficulties (I have a "genius" meeting this afternoon, aren't they so modest?) but I hope to be fully functioning again later today!

Near the Pompidou:

Needs no explanation: 

Puss in Boots at the Tuileries, part of a statue of Charles Perrault:

Tuileries carousel:

* * *

The Latin Quarter

We stayed on a mega-touristy street in the Latin Quarter, but high up on the 7th floor where we couldn't hear the chaos. It was a fantastic location; we could see Notre Dame from our window, and my new favorite monument in Paris, the Fontaine St. Michel, was a block away. It has seraphim and chimaera, guys!

(photo by Clementine :-)

I couldn't pass it without taking pictures. Also mere steps away from our apartment:

I may have bought a book I could easily have gotten in the States, just to get this stamp:

Oh man, this street (Rue St. Jacques), just around the corner from Shakespeare & Company and in sight of Notre Dame. LOVE: 

Wonderful restaurant on Rue St. Jacques, La Fourmi Ailee.

In the window, the eponymous winged ant:

Rue St. Jacques/Rue St. Germain are ground zero for bandes dessines (graphic novels, comic books) stores, like the magnificent Album, which has three locations in the immediate area: 

(Fans of Stephanie Perkins will recognize Album as where Isla and Josh shop for bandes dessines!)

* * *

The menagerie at the Jardin des Plantes (and the whole garden) was lovely. This was the first time we've made it there. So worth it. There's also the Natural History museum and the most unique carousel in Paris.

(the second flamingoes not at the menagerie, ha ha, but in the window of Antoine et Lili)

The famous Dodo carousel:

It's all extinct and endangered animals.

* * *

Les Puces, or the Clingnancourt mega flea market! 
I hadn't been since high school. It's not the place to look for bargains, but it was very picturesque.

This flying saucer in one of the permanent pavilions. 
I want it to fly to my backyard to be my writing studio!

Isn't this table amazing? It can ride back in the flying saucer.

* * *

Another place we made it for the first time: the Canal St. Martin neighborhood, and the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, a bit off the tourist path.

The Guignol at Buttes Chaumont:

Those two tall dads going in, they sat in the front and blocked everyone's view. Tools.

This park, not well known to tourists, is gorgeous. It's got ravines and waterfalls and this temple on an outcropping. Very cool.

And our last night, we thought, well, we might as well see the Eiffel Tower once...
And made it just in time for the lighting.

This carousel, very worth it. 

Oh, Paris.

 More (less random) pics to come.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Comic-Con 2014

Woo! It's almost Comic-Con time! Hope to see some of you there! I have a couple of awesome panels; can't wait! 

Here's the schedule:

Thurs 1:30-2:30 pm, Room 24ABC

Waiting for the next book in your favorite series to release can be agonizing...and yet oh so worthwhile. Whether you've suffered through the wait time for each installment or held out until the release of the last book to binge read, bestselling series authors succeed at keeping countless readers hooked, book after book! Panelists discuss the trials and tribulations of plotting multi-novel story arcs, keeping momentum going between books, and knowing when (if ever) to end a bestselling series.

With: Laini Taylor, Lev Grossman, Leigh Bardugo, Jonathan Maberry, Ben H. Winters, Lynn Flewelling, and Kresley Cole
Moderator: Maryelizabeth Hart

SIGNING to follow 3-4 pm at table AA09.

Fri 1-2 pm, Room 25ABC

Veronica Roth, author of FOUR: A Divergent Collection, joins authors as they divulge what led them on the road to writerdom. From books to movies to comics and more, what are these authors geeking out about? Hear about their literary muses, their author crushes, and all things awe-worthy that inspire them to write the books they write. Panelists will dish on their evolutions and revolutions. 

With: Veronica Roth, Walter Jury, Leigh Bardugo, and Laini Taylor
Moderator: Aaron Hartlzer

SIGNING in Little Brown booth (#1116) 2:15-3 pm

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Walking through Klimt Paintings

One of the coolest places we went on our trip to France was the Carrieres de Lumieres (the Quarry of Lights) in Les Baux de Provence, not far from Arles. Look at this place!!! 


It's an ancient quarry that's been converted into this incredible multi-media art space, a sound and light show like nothing I've ever seen before. This year the show is: "Klimt and Vienna: A Century of Gold and Colors," and basically it is like walking through Klimt paintings. They couldn't have chosen an artist better suited to this treatment. It's a dreamscape, created by seamless projection of paintings over every surface of this vast space. There's music. The show is a little under a half-hour. You just walk or stand still and look in all directions while the paintings surround you, moving and blending and coming to life. It's indescribable. You can stay as long as you want, see it as many times as you wish. From every vantage point it's a different show.

Here's some of the on-site signage describing the history of the quarry:

The Cocteau movie mentioned above is projected on perpetual loop in another semi-enclosed chamber of the quarry. So cool.

Schiele and Hundertwasser are also in the main show. I love Hundertwasser, and look how cool his paintings look at this scale:

And then--bonus--the Carriere happens to be in a beautiful village capped with an amazing sprawling ruined medieval castle you could spend all day exploring, not to mention see the trebuchet demonstration, the duel, and practice your crossbow skills.

Les Baux de Provence, set in the Val d'Enfer (Valley of Hell):

The castle:

Clementine put us in stocks and took our picture...

Local girls taking part in a religious procession:

These "santon" figures are everywhere in this region. There's a museum in town, and tons for sale in the shops:

The day we spent here was a highlight of the trip. 
A great day out with kids or without. Highly recommended! 

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