Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sonoma and Twistrose

Again with the blogging lapse. Arg. There's just so much going on right now! The book, of course, and other things I can't really talk about (I am a secret agent), and in the midst of it all, the whole Life thing just keeps right on ploughing ahead. [Re: Trailer Contest: I am not ignoring this, and again I'm so sorry for the delay! Something came up with it at the last minute, and I will tell you what it is as soon as I can! I hate to keep the entrants waiting like this :-(]

Last weekend, Clementine and I took a little trip to California to visit friends of the 21st Century variety, which is to say: dear friends whom we had not yet met IN PERSON. Ha! You know how this goes. Below is me and Tone Almhjell, of Norway, about whom you will be hearing things in the publishing world this year:

Tone and I met via my blog some years ago. She would comment frequently, and her comments just really shone through as funny and smart and kindred, and over time we began emailing and skyping, and it turned out we were both pregnant at the same time, and Clementine and Magnus (in utero they were "Professor" and "Gameboy") were born three weeks apart, and on top of it all, Tone was writing a book. She was writing a book in Norwegian. So I tried not to get too excited about reading it, but she would tell me these tantalizing snippets, and her imagination and way with words (in English) would leave me making gimme hands in spite of myself. And then she would write these short pieces for Sunday Scribblings in English, and they were so, so good. Really, truly beautiful. Even if she were a native English speaker they'd be beautiful, and since she's not, they were kind of astonishing, and there was always this unexpected lilt that came of her non-nativeness that had a way of being magical and never awkward. So. Time passed.

And maybe she'll tell the story in more detail some time soon, but it came about that she started translating her in-progress Norwegian novel into English (yay!) and as expected, I fell deeply in love with it, and ... so did my agent, Jane Putch, who took Tone on as a client and sold the remarkable TWISTROSE KEY to Dial Books, and it's coming out this fall!!!

I will tell you more about in another post, and maybe get Tone on here too, if she agrees, but you can pre-order it now if you wish! It's a middle grade fantasy novel of the sort that will sweep all ages off their feet. My blurb on the back of the ARC reads: "This book is pure magic. I want to live in it." Really, I more want to vacation in it, but living there wouldn't be bad either! You'll see what I mean when you read it. But more later, since I'm in a rush and can't do it justice right now! This is just my first push :-)

So anyway, Tone's husband Peter lived in California as a boy, and they were in Sonoma to visit family, so I couldn't have them be so near and not go and visit. Jim couldn't come, due to deadline pressure (poo), so it was just me and Clementine, and we had a lovely couple of days.

The view from the porch. Sigh:

Professor and Gameboy hit it off in an instant, in spite of not speaking the same language -- how much language is really needed for wall-walking and hammock-swinging, anyway? It was such a delight to watch them run rampant over this beautiful Sonoma garden complete with a sloping hill of grape vines!

There were excursions into town and to the Russian River. It all flashed past very quickly.

And then, as we were leaving, agent Jane was arriving to spend a few days, and we only passed each other in the airport long enough to hug.

So there was a little break from projects underway, and when we got home, we found ourselves in the middle of a fake summer of the sort that Oregon likes to throw out in the spring to tease us! Several days of pure summer weather, still ongoing. It goes on long enough that it feels permanent, and then BAM!, reverts to rainy Northwest spring and chill. Clementine is getting hooked on evening sprinkler runs, and will be bummed when they go away for another couple of months. Ah well, at least we won't have to water the lawn as much!

Happy weekend, all!


ryan graudin said...

"The Twistrose Key" sounds amazing! And the fact that you're so excited about it has me adding it to my "to-read" list right now. :)

Reina said...

Aww fun! I love the first picture and the nicknames you and Tone gave the two ;D Also I thinks its a really cool idea to have two youngish children who don't speak the same language play together!
I hope the 3rd book is going well! I'm excited to hear the title!

tay my said...

Yay! Is that heron Real???

Bob said...

Professor and Gameboy look sooo cute :)

Will definitely check out the Twistrose Key.

tone almhjell said...

Laini, I'm on your blog! So cool! Also: *blush, blush* Thank you for those pretty words and for pointing your readers toward Twistrose Key. Yes! Would love to come back and discuss snow globe souls, icicle maws, and lost foxes later.

Magnus misses Clementine so much. Every once in a while he'll mutter, "bjuudiful." And I miss you both! Silly Atantic Ocean.

Katana: No, the heron's not real. Just a taste of my father-in-law's eclectic decorating. He also has a horse weather vane :)

June G said...

How cool is this?! One never knows how one will meet another, and forge an awesome bond...the book and it's cover look and sound great. I'll be checking it out.

Laurence King said...

I love stories of kindred spirits meeting in cyberspace....and The Twistrose Key has me quite intrigued (how could I not be with a title like this?)Can't wait for its release!

Charley Robson said...

Aww, this looks amazing! I think I'll have to get my grubby mitts on Tone's book at your recommendation - I'm a sucker for pretty prose and fantasy, heh heh!

Glad you and Clementine had a great time! :)

tay my said...

Thanks T!! I think he has good taste and I'm going to get one of those myself if I ever chance upon it. I would prefer an egret, it's my spirit bird,


InfiniteWinter said...

Aw i remember going to the Russian River when I was little, glad you all had fun! :)

Charlotte said...

What a beautiful cover! I'll look forward to it. And beautiful scenery and children and grown-ups too, of course :)

Connie Onnie said...

I am so excited for Tone's book and so glad you guys got to be real life friends!

Holly said...

I just unpacked an ARC for "Twistrose Key". Saw your blurb (before reading this post) and snagged it. I am now moving it to the top of my reading pile.

Also... your Sonoma pictures make me the teensiest bit homesick. :)

Jess - A Book Hoarder said...

I love that you two were able to meet on my home turf. I thought that river looked familiar and of course it is where I grew up catching tadpoles.

I can't wait to read The Twistrose Key. I will take any recommendation you throw out there and this one sounds like it needs to go to the top of my list.

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