Wednesday, January 11, 2017

STRANGE THE DREAMER - 1st trade review!!


Thank you, Booklist!!! 

(here's the text in case the image is hard to read)

By now, fans of Laini Taylor know what to expect: beautiful prose, strange and whimsical fantasy worlds, sympathetic monsters, and wrenching, star-crossed romance. Her latest, first in a two-book set, certainly delivers on that, and there’s something quietly magical at play here. Lazlo Strange, an orphaned infant who grew up to be a librarian, has had a quiet first two decades of life. But Lazlo, reader of fairy tales, longs to learn more about a distant, nearly mythical city, called Weep after its true name was stolen. When a group of warriors from that very place come seeking help, Lazlo, never before a man of action, may actually see his dream fulfilled. Weep, though, is a city still reeling from the aftermath of a brutal war, and hidden there is a girl named Sarai and her four companions, all of whom have singular talents and devastating secrets. What follows is the careful unfolding of a plot crafted with origamilike precision. This has distinct echoes of Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone (2011), though ultimately it’s a cut above even that: characters are carefully, exquisitely crafted; the writing is achingly lovely; and the world is utterly real. While a cliff-hanger ending will certainly have readers itching for book two, make no mistake—this is a thing to be savored.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Venice! (from summer)

Hi there. *shy wave* It's been a ridiculously long time since I posted anything. I really fell into a writing pit and spent the better part of a year digging myself out of it. I want to write about writing Strange the Dreamer, but I feel like I have to work up to it. Not to mention that I never posted pics of our summer trip to Italy, so I'm going to do that first, while I gather my wits.

Starting with Venice, because: Venice.

We stayed in the Castello district, which I highly recommend. Venice is such a mob in the main tourist thoroughfares, but get just a little outside of it and that totally falls away, revealing a real city where people live and work. Above is our neighborhood, only a 5 minute walk to San Marco, but very few tourists to be seen--and in the afternoon when it got hot and we'd had enough trudging, we'd take the vaporetto a few stops and be on the beach island, Lido! Below is the apartment we rented on airbnb. It was the office of a pair of French boatbuilders at one time. 

From the outside: 

It's directly on the fondamente; below pic is just in front of the house. 
That spire above Clementine is St Mark's.

Here's the nighttime view:

Look at these colors. Doesn't it look like a postcard from the 70s or something?

Venice is...unreal. Even as you're seeing it, your brain is denying it, a little. Mine does, anyway. Cruising down the Grand Canal on a vaporetto, I look around and it's all SO RIDICULOUSLY MAGNIFICENT that my brain kind of slips into this weird mode like it's seeing something fake and refuses to be impressed. I have to keep going: no, it's real. Believe it. The only other place I've had that reaction is the Grand Canyon.

Jim and I got engaged in Venice seventeen years ago, on a gondola under the Bridge of Sighs. Here's a selfie Jim took of us *on* the Bridge of Sighs <3

And the Bridge of Sighs at night: 

Next time: Tuscany!

Monday, April 25, 2016


Hello hello! I'm thrilled to show you the covers for STRANGE THE DREAMER!!!! 

The above is the US cover; below is the UK cover. I adore them both, and love how they look great together too. I've been deeply deeply buried in the world of this book, and I really look forward to talking more about it and getting back to writing here about writing and life once I've unburied myself a little bit. I miss it here! I'll be back soon!! 

Would you like to read the prologue? You can find it HERE at Entertainment Weekly. Cheers!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


I'm thrilled to announce the new title for the novel I've been working on all year! You may recall, when it was initially announced, that the title was given as "The Muse of Nightmares." Well, I still love that title too, and am happy to say that it will serve as the sequel to this book, which has morphed, in the writing, into a duology. A duet. A pair. A one-two punch. 

I should have known from the outset. Any story I come up with has a way of stretching its borders in every way possible. Prompts grow into novels. Novels spill over from one book to another to another. But after finishing the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, a standalone sounded really appealing! 

So much for that. This is a story that's been growing quietly in my mind for years, and it was never going to fit itself meekly into one book. So here we are!

I think that all I said in my initial announcement was this:

There was a war between gods and men, and men won. The few surviving children of the gods have grown up in hiding, dreading the day they know must come: when humans find them, and end them. 
That day is at hand.
Wheeeeee! You'll find an expanded description, plus an explanation for this new title over at NOVL, the awesome sight for book lovers produced by my publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers. 

I'm super excited, guys. I really love this title, these characters, this world, and I sincerely hope that you do too!


Monday, November 16, 2015


I'm going on retreat tomorrow! Not to the above island, which is waaay too distraction-filled. It'll just be me in a hotel room with nothing to do but write write write. (Well, I might possibly wander into the Plot Labyrinth, but not if I can help it!) Always such excitement and trepidation pre-retreat: big hopes of big productivity, and big fears of face-planting. 

Stupid fear. 

But excitement too! I'll be back soon!

(more of my thoughts on writing retreats here.)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

"Paris is always a good idea." - Audrey Hepburn

(weird cool mirror sculpture in above photo, if you're wondering!)

A little slice of Montmartre:

Some random Paris:

(At Parc de la Villette, hard to tell the scale, but that mirror ball has an IMAX theater inside, so: it's big!)

We reallllly loved Les Invalides/Napoleon's Tomb/the war museums. 

The Palais Garnier (Opera House); one of our favorite places:

(Jim in a crown of light :-)

Heh heh, I bought a coupla these sweaters...

Another favorite place in Paris that we never miss: Passage Jouffroy!

One of the fabulous Belle Epoque covered shopping passages (the best one in my opinion). In addition to the wax museum (Musee Grevin) it has this amazing toy store, Pain d'Epice, where I could spend hours, and as luck would have it, a graphic novel bookstore right next door where Jim could spend hours. How convenient!

And across the passage, the perfect spot for tea & cakes...
Le Valentin, chocolaterie/salon de the.

We tried out a handful of smaller museums for the first time on this trip, notably: 
Musee Gustave Moreau, where here you see Clementine's halberd in the umbrella stand...

Isn't this the best staircase in the world???
This museum is in the lifelong home of the Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau, and has a huge collection of his paintings. Do you think anyone would mind if we moved in?

More later!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...