Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tour Stop 1: Chicago!

(Hello from Detroit! It's way too late to be up doing this since I have a 6 am pickup in the morning, but I am officially behind now, so quickly!)

Here's "toy Clementine" on the airplane.

Oh, this is so hurried. I sleeeepy. Plus I'm using this little tiny notebook computer I just got for traveling (on account of my Macbook is too big for tray tables!! And also heavy. And I don't *really* know how to use this little toy, it's cute but I'm so slooow.)

Anyway, in a nutshell: first days have been WONDERFUL! I feel so incredibly spoiled by my publisher, and so so lucky. And thank you Chicago-area-ans (and folks who drove for as much as three hours from neighboring states!!!) for a wonderful kick-off! I was in the Chicago area for two days and evenings, which encompassed four school visits and two bookstore events, and I met blog friends I hadn't ever met in person, and met new wonderful readers, and got to talk to real-live teenagers, which is always exciting and a little terrifying. But not so terrifying after all. The school visits were fun!

Thank you especially to West Chicago High School for the awesome. I was greeted upon arrival by a bulletin board depicting the teachers with pink hair!

This was not an homage to ME, but to the breast cancer cure. But I still felt right at home :-)

I don't have a ton of pictures, though Lisa, my wonderful publicist, took some.
I just don't have most of them yet!

Next up: bookstores!
At Barnes & Noble, this lovely bookseller donned a Karou wig for the occasion:

Clementine was in attendance:

(I need a toy Jim! Action figure maybe?)

Look! My first ever stand-alone book display. I love seeing these so much!

I haven't managed to upload photos from Anderson's Books yet,
where I was the next night, but that was a wonderful group!

Oh man, bed time. This is so slapdash and random, and missing so much, but here is a room service picture.  The life :-) (There is a hamburger in there, no fries; fruit instead. And a lovely vampire book on the side:-)


Have been very spoiled with excellent meals, salmon like butter, an amazing portobello mushroom at a restaurant in Naperville called the Sugar Toad (YUM).
This evening, I bought apples at Whole Foods; have been craving them!
Oatmeal is the official breakfast of this tour,
on days when there's time for breakfast at the hotel.

And Lisa: such good company.
Sadly, tomorrow we part ways and she gets to go home to New York.

Thank you, Lisa!

kjfhilieurnin jnv89iuyior09o4ujrklmmkkio

... (just fell asleep on the keyboard ...)

Next time! Maybe a better post!


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy Birthday to Mama's Book

Jim here:  Laini says "Hi from the road and thank you so much for all the awesome book birthday love!"

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tour time!

It's time!



(leg 1)

You guys, this is my FIRST book tour. I hope you will come and say hello!

Also, there will be prizes. Truly. Cool prizes for question-askers,
and also for book bloggers in attendance, because we lurve you guys the most.





From here I'm going to London for a couple of wonderful days, and I'm sorry that I haven't posted any information about London events yet. I'm sorry! Will try to do that in the next day or two.

The rest of the tour info is HERE.

So, I've inadvertently learned something: that one should consider party-theme-ability when one is writing a book. That is, ask yourself: "Would my book make a good party theme?" I didn't think about this in advance, but I will from now on, because Daughter of Smoke and Bone *does* make a good party theme, and as a result, my amazing and wonderful publishers and friends and family have thrown parties. There was the astonishing sales conference last spring in London; the gorgeous soiree in New Orleans this summer; this awesome corner of a party in New York; and now: here in Portland, my best friend and my parents conspired to make my intimate hometown book-launch a spectacle. I totally wasn't expecting this!

Here is the party-planner; you can't tell in sepia, but her hair is Karou-blue :-)

Look! Two Karous!

(Can you tell I just got my hair "freshly empinked"?)

The props! Teeth, masks, glowing skulls, snakes, smoke. A smoke machine! Dry ice! Total awesomeness!

And the menu! Alexandra's boyfriend Andrew cooked up some awesome smoke-themed stuff, YOM. My mom made goulash, and if you've read Daughter you know why. She also took the time to find a recipe for Czech goulash instead of Hungarian, and it was SO GOOD. So full of yummy spices. SO GOOD.

(Totally awesome recipe HERE.)

Who are these mysterious characters?

Not so mysterious, mah girl:

(By the way, I did find a "pocket mama" and also a "pocket Clementine" who will accompany me on the trip and likely make some photo appearances. I was very sad tonight doing the last bookies and tuck-in for a little while. *trembly lip*)

Hope to see you guys at one of these awesome bookstores! Remember: prizes :-) Also, thank you so so so much to all you advance readers who have helped to spread the word. It's crazy to me that the book isn't even officially released yet, and it has been read by so many people. The feedback has been amazing, a dream come true. 

And thank you wonderful wonderful publishers Little Brown and Hodder & Stoughton. I am the luckiest writer :-)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Books have self esteem issues too ...

You know, there are only so many minutes in your life, and books deserve them so much more than terrible television. (Good television is another matter, but I still prefer books.)

I think I have never read less in my life than right now, but that has to do with work and family -- good good life things, in abundance -- not TV.

     I just read:

Pink Smog by Francesca Lia Block. This was an advance copy so you can't buy it yet. Soon though! It's the prequel to Weetzie Bat you guys! Remember Weetzie? Oh, Weetzie, how I have missed you. I will soooo be rereading now!'

     Currently reading ...

Drink Slay Love by Sarah Beth Durst. I love that such an unabashedly quirky premise is written with such intelligence and wit. Vampire girl stabbed through the heart by a were-unicorn's horn, suddenly can walk in sunlight, see her reflection, and ... feel her conscience. At a most inconvenient time to be having *the feelings*! Also, there's this boy ...

I'm still George R R Martin'ing, but I've been on a break. Toward the end of Feast for Crows and some such awful things have happened that I had to set it down for a while. You'd think I'd get used to that with Martin, but still.

     Here are some books I am excited about right now:

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins -- out next week, yay yay yay! Are you a Stephanie Perkins fan yet? Get on that. I've read this in an early manuscript version but not the final yet. I have an ARC, but at this point am looking forward to the solid beautiful real book in my hands. You will love Lola and Cricket. Love.

The Red Glove by Holly Black -- Book 2 in the Curse Workers series. I loved The White Cat -- so original and cool and different! -- and can't wait to see what happens next.

I bought The Night Circus the day it came out but have only read Chapter 1 (really good!!); I'm also looking forward to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, out this week. I keep hearing terrific things about it!

And soooooo many more. I have such stacks right now and honestly I am reading less than I ever have in my life. It's sad, so sad.

What are you reading?

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Mmm. Look. We have a plum tree at the new house! And a pear tree, several apples, a fig, a walnut, grape vines, raspberries ... So far that is what we've discovered. In early summer we'd pick raspberries every morning for our cereal; hooligan squirrels cleaned us out on walnuts; the figs never ripened; the pears have been delicious but abundant to excess! The plums are perfect. So yummy, so beautiful, and not overwhelming. Not like a second job, like that pear tree! Oy.

Getting packed and ready to leave soon. Yow, but that was fast. I'm going to try to blog along the way. We'll see how that goes. 

Meantime, some fun stuff. Review in the Los Angeles Times, YAY!!!!! Thank you LA Times! This is a big thrill :-)


"Taylor has constructed a vivid, elaborate fantasy with a reworked mythology of angels perpetually at war. Elements of adolescent angst and discovery play out against this fantastical world where morality is written in shades of gray, where love is an element, where pain is a power source. A master of pacing Taylor waits to reveal the mystery to Karou's identity in a cliffhanger finale that will leave fans eagerly awaiting the sequel."

Oh, and we finally saw Bridesmaids last night! So fun! The parts I'd heard about and expected to cringe during were much as expected, but funnier and more watchable than shticks like that usually are. Memorable-bad: those roommates! Egad! The shudders are still running through me. Memorable-good: the cop! This Irish actor I hadn't seen. That interplay between him and Kristen Wiig was just the best. Great good-guy/bad-guy contrast between him and John Hamm's charming a-hole. 

Alrighty, happy Saturday all!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The wind will blow it.

(Our little folk singer :-)

One of my proudest on-the-spot parent-think moments: a couple of months back, at the park, Clementine was running and tripped and scraped her shin. Not a bad scrape, no blood. She was in that initial wavering moment before deciding whether to cry or not, and I said, "Let's let the wind blow on it," and held her up so the breeze could get it. And we went on the swings with her pants rolled up so the back and forth movement could really let the wind blow on her boo boo. And this just made so much sense to her. She already knew we blow on boo boos, and what blows better than the wind?

So it immediately became her standard line. Any minor hurt, be it a light head bonk or a stubbed toe, no crying. She immediately says, "The wind will blow it." 

And we nod and agree that it will, and that is that. 

She's like a little sage. She has even told another crying child, gently, "Don't worry. The wind will blow it." 

My heart sings. It will. 

If only everything could be so simple, so benevolent as the wind blowing on boo boos. 

I'm leaving Monday for my book tour, and Clementine knows it. And though she will have her wonderful people, her papa and friends and grandparents and fairy godmother, she is very sad. I think she broke my heart the other night when we were reading bedtime bookies, all three of us, and she starting worrying wherever the mama wasn't on the page. Asking "Where's the mama?" with an edge of panic on every mama-less page. I felt *this big*. How could I do this? Go away for DAYS? 

Oh man. If only I had a "wind will blow it" for this one. 

How about a pocket mama? A little doll with pink hair she can keep in her pocket? 

She'll be fine, I know she will. When I've gone on shorter trips in the past she was completely fine once I was gone, and carried on as her usual sweet self with Jim. But ouch, my heart, my heart. Wind, please blow over here ...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dream-and-drool break

from kavkadesign

Ehhh, I've been all bookbookbooklookitmyboooook lately. Sorry! How about for some design fun? Did you know about the IKEA Family Live idea site? It showcases how designey folks have incorporated IKEA into their homes in the funnest and loveliest ways. 

I love this guest blog from kavkadesign. You can just see this is a person overflowing with quirky creativity. I've added her blog to my favorites!

The site is broken down by room ideas, and you can click from there to whole homes/apartments, or just check out the Home Stories or guest blogs. So much fun stuff. Drool drool.

(Last two pics swiped from Bright Bazaar, where I found the link to begin with.
One of my favorite design blogs!)

I'm a personal fan of IKEA basics brought to life with unique finds from travel and flea markets and artist, and this site is that exactly. A fun place to get lost and get inspired.

Since my own home sits still box-filled for the forseeable future as I complete the book at hand, I need an occasional drool-and-dream break. 


Monday, September 19, 2011

Two More Trailers!

Yay! Book trailers #4 (Issa) and #5 (Zuzana) are live!

See all five, plus the awesome US teaser trailer, HERE.

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. I did! I saw a movie (Drive), read a book (Pink Smog; more later), got ready for book tour (a week from today!) with some shopping. Ate crepes, played.

Happy happy :-)

Friday, September 16, 2011

I am having A MOMENT

I was writing a short story recently, and this line happened:

She was a wild nerve of thrill, an open flame,  aware at once that she had come to A Moment,
the kind you throw yourself out of doors each day in hopes of finding and almost never do."

Well, I am having A Moment. 

I have been reading Entertainment Weekly forever. Jim and I try to out-maneuvre each other for the new issue every Friday. This is where I get my pop culture knowledge, minus the gross paparazzi b.s. that so many weeklies have, because EW isn't like that. It's about entertainment, and it's good

I love it. 

And ... ulp ... I am in it. 

On the freaking MUST LIST.

THE MUST LIST. My book is on THE MUST LIST. Under Ryan Gosling. Before the Miles Davis Bootleg series. *hysteria building* Before Miles Davis. *begins to laugh uncontrollably*  

Bless you, Entertainment Weekly, for this beautiful bit of crazy.

Oh. And thanks especially for putting it in this issue: 

I really don't know what else to say.

I am verklempt.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

And I should add here that although Daughter is technically not "out" until the 27th, it seems that it is. Amazon shipped early, and now there have been sightings at Barnes & Nobles and indies alike. *takes calming breath*. This really caught me off guard; I wasn't ready for the new level of worrying yet! But it's good. It's wonderful. It's all good. It's all good. *sound of breathing* It's good. I'm ready.


Okay. Now. I'm ready now.


P.S. It's possible that I celebrated this Moment with shoes. I confirm nothing.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dance here!

I hate to add to the "own feet pictures" that proliferate on blogs, but for this I'll make an exception.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Eyeball Disaster Zone

Look out!

So, there's an alien living behind my left eye. I first became aware of it on Friday, when I spotted squiggles in my leftmost peripheral vision. It was instantly clear what they were. Tentacles. Dangit. How did an alien get in there? To make matters worse, not only does it not pay rent, but it smokes. Soon it was puffing these wisps of black smoke right into my line of sight. Annoying? Yes. And causing some blurring of vision too!

By pure coincidence (and pure husband nagging--the good kind), I had an optometrist appointment already scheduled for Saturday, thanks to which I now have a diagnosis:

There is indeed an alien living in my left eye, his name is Vitreous Detachment, and he will be there FOREVER.

Squiggle. Squiggle. Hello Laini, I'm waving at you. Squiggle.


On the plus side, the brain apparently adjusts to constant stimulus and will cease to register it, and I'll stop seeing it. It will continue to occasionally blur my vision though, which is awesome. If I were a fighter pilot, my career would be over. But I am a writer. Whew. Dodged that bullet. Also, I'm fond of eye patches, so if it comes to that (which it won't), I'm good.

And ... OH. I forgot to tell you the best part! Apparently, these aliens are relatively common in ... people over fifty. Not so long ago a dermatologist said the same thing about this spot I have. So it would seem I am on the accelerated aging program.


Secondarily, both of my eyes are a mess of severe dryness with scratches on both corneas. What the heck? Do you think it could by all the crime-fighting? Or maybe the tornado-surfing? Or ... could it be stress, fatigue, and lack of sleep? Hm. So I'm on "intensive therapy" which calls for drops every hour and blurry-making gel whenever I can stand it (never), and I'm thinking I need a tiny holster for my tiny bottle of eye drops. I'm always forgetting it, and an hour goes fast! Maybe I should sew a secret compartment into my bra, then I could be all, Excuse me a moment, and reach into my shirt, dropper myself, and then tuck it back away. Oh, and the drops are white. It's so cute to have white liquid in your eyes.

Meanwhile, some weekend entertainment. On Friday, while I was home squinting around wavering alien tentacles to work on my presentations for the upcoming tour, Jim took Clementine to a concert. We didn't know them before, but: the awesome! They're local, so maybe I'll get to go next time. Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside. Here they're on Letterman. Check it out. So good. Does she have a rockin voice or what?

Speaking of rockin', my rockin' Saturday night consisted of ... dragging myself (and my alien) back to the gym after a looooooong absence. Long. Like, they've added a entire floor since last I was there. They've upgraded to fingerprint check-in technology. It's all fancy. But you still have to actually work out. They haven't revolutionized that yet, more's the pity. Some day I'll forget to go to the gym for a couple of years and then pop in to discover there's a TV channel that exercises you while you get your eyebrows shaped.

Because we could all use more elegant eyebrows.

But it felt good to run a little! I've become a slug. A strong-armed, baby-hefting slug. And since weaning Clementine back in the spring, I have been gaining weight! Dangit. Remind me: next baby, NURSE FOREVER, just for the extra calorie allowance!

Cheers, friends. My alien is waving at you.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Graphic novel shout-out: Anya's Ghost

One of the many books I picked up at Comic Con was Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol, a graphic novel from First Second Books, and it's the one that stands out in my mind out of the stack. I've been meaning to give it a shout-out, and here it is:

*cups hands to mouth*


It's really good.

Anya is not having the best day, and then she falls down a well. 
And makes a new friend. With a ghost.
And everything changes.

(that's my paltry description, not the publisher's)

Here's the book trailer:

So. I'm not a book reviewer, so I won't go much beyond that. I'll just say the art is terrific, and the story is so well crafted. When it begins to turn ... I won't even tell you how it turns ... just, it sneaks up on you with little chills up your neck. 

Right HERE First Second has 17 sample pages.

A long post on process from the author/artist.

Order it! From Powell's or B&N or Amazon or Indiebound.

Enjoy :-)

Do you read many graphic novels? I wish you would. And by "you" I mean everyone. It's such a great medium, and it just doesn't get the love and respect in this country that it deserves. I mean, in France, say, it is reckoned an art form suitable for adult enjoyment, and so you find a lot of fabulous stories, beautifully published ... in French, alas. Or Spanish, or Italian. Reasons to be multi-lingual. (Another of my fantasies embodied by Karou :-)

But Anya's Ghost is in English! Support this one, guys, so there will be more! First Second has a lot of amazing books -- graphic stories that have nothing to do with superheroes (well, some of them might, I don't know, and I have nothing against superheroes. In fact, post upcoming on the massive DC relaunch!), and Top Shelf Comics is another place to find awesome graphic books for all ages. (In fact, in linking, I notice that Clementine's beloved Dragon Puncher has a sequel: Dragon Puncher Island! Woot.)

That's all for today. Ciao! Oh, wait. Here are some pages:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Akiva trailer!

The gorgeous third Daughter trailer from my UK pub is up and running. Yay! Here it is.

Meet ... the boy.

Oh man. That is so awesome!

Thank you, Hodder & Stoughton!

(see all trailers HERE.)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

my grey mustache

God. I could swear my mustache was not this grey yesterday.

Where does the time go?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Auxiliary Brain, at your service!

*whistling sounds*

Oh right. I have a blog. 

*waves out from screen* 

Hm. Hmmmm. 

*rummages through brain for content; produces a broken bicycle pump and a stale croissant*

*examines croissant, takes a nibble.*

Eww, no. You don't want that.

Hi. This is Laini's Auxiliary Brain talking. Not her Main Brain. That brain is otherwise occupied, and will be until some time around Christmas. If you prefer to talk to Main Brain (which I totally understand, it is sooo much better), try back then.

(Don't worry. This is a jello mold.)

In the meantime, though, there is this one, and it's not entirely useless. It knows some limericks and sea chanties and can carry on a conversation about the weather for two minutes and six seconds. For reasons best left to the imagination, it is something of an authority on noodle shapes and styrofoam. Also, if you put in a quarter, it will read you a fairy tale, but it cannot tell jokes (though neither can Main Brain, to be frank) It is perfectly able to watch television, which is what most brains are used for anyway, so that's fine.


Would you like to ask Auxiliary Brain any questions? The answers might be fun and surprising. Let's try! Anyone?

[big quiet space for questions]

(What is going on HERE? I do not know.)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Introducing Brimstone ...

Do you remember the cool book trailer from UK publisher Hodder & Stoughton? Well, it was the first of five. Five. *mind explodes* And here is the second one!

Up next (and soon): the Akiva trailer. So good. I can't wait to show you!

Also, in very very very VERY cool news, Daughter is an Amazon Best Book of the Month for September! Wheeeeeeee! Thank you Amazon!

But enough about the book. How is everybody? I feel like such a gnome right now. Gnome? Gnomes do live underground, don't they? Yes. Okay. I feel like a gnome shielding my eyes from the light. What's going on out there in the real world? I'm living in my own world, where there is lots of coffee and not a lot of makeup or hair brushing. I am a total deadline monkey right now, and Clementine hasn't been sleeping well, and I'm leaving on book tour (book tour!) so soon and YELP! If I haven't returned an email or a tweet or something, I really am sorry. 

Also, did you realize it is SEPTEMBER already??? No fair!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sirens Conference 2011: COME!

Geep! 25 days till Daughter!!! I will have full details of my fall tour soon, but here's what I will be doing October 6-9. YOU SHOULD COME! Do you know about the Sirens Conference? Check out THIS AWESOMENESS: 

Inspired by the daring adventures of women characters and compelled by brilliant works by women authors, Sirens is dedicated to women in fantasy literature. Our conference is part scholarly examination and part networking retreat, and we welcome academics, authors, professionals, educators, librarians, and readers to attend and participate. We also encourage all attendees, regardless of background, to provide perspectives on fantasy books by women, female characters in fantasy works, and how to support women in fantasy literature.

How great!!! I am so deeply honored to be one of three guests this year, along with Justine Larbalestier and Nnedi Okorafor. The theme this year is MONSTERS, so perfect for me. I am working on my keynote now (fun! fun! secret fun things!) And you guys, check out this crazy amazing programming. Smart women! I cannot wait to go and learn things and be surrounded by smart women who love fantasy (as all smart women should). 

I'll also be on a panel on writing monsters, and another on destructive love myths, and I believe there may be some reading of *ahem* terrible "juvenilia", ie young unpublished works. Justine's idea!

Smart women who love fantasy. I am so in. Also, and it's in Vail. So there's that :-)

Hey. Come to Sirens! October 6-9. Sign up HERE
It is REALLY SUPER AFFORDABLE for an all-weekend conference!

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