Sarah J. Maas's Blog

September 19, 2014

So, this will be a super-quick update, since I’m finally back from tour….and juggling two intense deadlines PLUS all the drama/excitement of buying a house (...which is one of the most traumatic/miserable processes ever. UGHHGHGHG.). Just a heads up: I’ll probably be MIA online for the next several weeks, BUT I wanted to mention a few things before I vanish into the wilds of Deadline Land…

First of all, thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who came to one of my events in the UK & US!

I had an absolute blast meeting all of you—and, to be honest, I was totally NOT prepared for SO MANY of you to be at these events! Seriously, it blew my mind—and it meant so, so much to me that you guys were willing to wait in line for HOURS, that you brought me hand-written letters, and gave me the most beautiful and thoughtful gifts. I’ve only got one cup of tea in me at this point (side story: being in the UK for several weeks both cured my coffee addiction AND got me hooked on tea.), so I’m failing at articulating just how deeply it moved me to have you guys come to my events, but… Thank you. I had the best time, and I’ll never forget a moment of it. <3

And while I’m feeling slightly weepy… I don’t really have the words to express just how grateful I am, but getting the news that Heir of Fire / The Throne of Glass series debuted on The New York Times children’s series bestseller list at #4 was…overwhelming. To say the least.

True story: I started sobbing so uncontrollably that when I called my husband, he had no idea if I was crying happy or sad tears (since I was totally incapable of forming words or making any sound beyond weepy hu-hu-hu’s). And it was such a wonderful surprise to wake up the following morning to the news that Heir of Fire was also a USA Today Bestseller. I’ve pretty much spent the past week just staring & sighing at this little graphic Bloomsbury made me:

photo (73)
So, thank you guys so, so much for all that you’ve done for this series, for your support, enthusiasm, and overall awesomeness. Learning that HOF/TOG has remained on the NYT series bestseller list for a second week (at #8!) was BEYOND anything I’d hoped for, and just… Thank you. I’m honored to have you guys as readers, and getting to meet some of you while on tour this past month has been such a privilege and delight.

Annnnd before I go, since I got asked this a bunch at my various events, here are two pieces off my Heir of Fire playlist (with enough commentary to explain WHY posting the 500+ song playlist would take SO long)… I've mentioned them before on my blog, but now that the book is finally (finally!) out, I thought I'd share them again. I suggest listening to both as loudly as your speakers will allow. ;)

Both of these inspired Chapter 55, which is *probably* my favorite chapter/part of the book (though there are a few other close contenders), so…. SPOILERS AHEAD (though I’ll try to avoid specifics).

So, this track lines up with the Rowan scene on pages 470-473 (in both the UK & US editions). And even though it's called "What Are You Going To Do When You Are Not Saving The World?" I've unofficially retitled it for my HOF playlist to: "Rattle the Stars."



You can probably tell where/how this piece lines up with the text, and the build-up is pretty much note-for-note perfect with that scene ("A rumbling shook the earth..." on pg 471 = the 2:19 mark), but at the 2:37 mark, I imagine the music aligning with the sentence that begins: “As if in answer…”

And then that killer drum-beat moment at the 2:47ish range is 10000% when a certain someone puts their hands over the mouths of certain Big Bads & obliterates them.

And then there’s this piece. Officially, it's called "Shenzou" from the absolutely stunning Gravity soundtrack (by Steven Price). Unofficially, I totally call it "Do Not Let That Light Go Out."



This was one of the pieces that wound up forming the emotional backbone of this book. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but it’s still really rare for me to go a day or two without listening to this piece. Last year, when I got home after seeing Gravity (which was a film that profoundly moved me & I saw at a time when I desperately needed to hear/internalize its message), I immediately bought the soundtrack and sat at my desk, listening to this piece on repeat for HOURS.

And as I listened, the scene on page 473-475 began to form. I think the music speaks for itself (the 1:55-ish mark is totally “To whatever end?” and the 2:43-ish mark is the “I claim you, too” line, and the rest lines up perfectly with the remainder of the scene), but the swell of the music at the 3:25 mark will always remind me of this line (emphasis mine, obvs):

"Yet this was not the end—this was not her end. She had survived loss and pain and torture; she had survived slavery and hatred and despair; she would survive this, too. Because hers was not a story of darkness. So she was not afraid of that crushing black, not with the warrior holding her, not with the courage that having one true friend offered—a friend who made living not so awful after all, not if she were with him."

That was a paragraph that poured out of me, tapped from some emotional vein I’d never really dared open up, and is pretty much word-for-word identical to how it was written in the first draft.

I think it’s fairly obvious who inspired some of it, especially if you look at the dedication of the book, but… I wrote that scene in tears, completely overwhelmed with gratitude to have a friend like my soul-twin, Susan Dennard, in my life. Truth be told, there have been hard days and moments that I was only able to get through because I knew that Sooz was out there, because I knew she’d have my back no matter what, and that regardless of what happened, I could call her when it was over.

At it's heart, I honestly think Heir of Fire is a story about the power of friendship—about how it can change us, how it can heal parts of us we didn’t know were broken, and alter the course of our lives forever. How friendship can change the world. And when I hear this piece of music, I’m again transported to that moment when Aelin herself realizes that—when she embraces it, and chooses who she wishes to be and what her future will be like, knowing that every part of her, good and bad, is loved.

Annnnd now that I'm well and truly weepy, I'm going to catch up on Outlander (JAMIE!!! MY LOVE.) before Deadlines drag me back to work.

But just to reiterate: thank you, thank you, THANK YOU ALL for everything. You guys are incredible.
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Published on September 19, 2014 12:29 • 546 views

August 6, 2014

Well, I'm days away from getting on the road for a solid month, so I thought I'd post all of my upcoming events for my UK & US Heir of Fire tours again, in one easy-to-find place! Because I'll be away for so long, I'll probably be pretty MIA in terms of replying to emails/tweets/asks/etc., but I'll do my best to respond as soon as I can!

Part of the reason why I'll be gone for so long is because I'll also be spending 9 days in Scotland, doing book research! Areas of Scotland have always reminded me of Terrasen (aka Celaena's home kingdom), and (not to give away any spoilers) I realized I really wanted/needed to explore it firsthand & see what inspires/strikes me. And parts of A Court of Thorns and Roses (side note: *that* is the official title of the book-- not MORTAL.) were inspired by the UK as well, so...lots of note-taking & wandering awaits!

Anyway! I think I forgot to mention this last time, but... For those of you who have been asking & waiting & wishing for a Throne of Glass hardcover to match the Crown of Midnight & Heir of Fire hardcovers... Bloomsbury is rereleasing the Throne of Glass hardcover with the illustrated design! I am so, so, SO excited about this, you have no idea. It'll be available on September 2nd (the day HOF releases). Hooray!

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Annnnd here's my UK & US tour info!

UK TOUR : August 15th-21st:

(FYI: Because this is my only UK tour for 2014 and we wanted TOG readers to get a chance to have their books signed, early finished copies of Heir of Fire WILL be available at my signings!)

Friday, August 15th:
LonCon 3 – The 72nd World Science Fiction Convention
ExCeL London, Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 1XL

10:00 -11:00 am: Capital Suite 15: The Exceptional Girl Warrior panelwith Elisabeth Waters, John Dodd, Kate Elliott, Sarah Rees Brennan, Leigh Bardugo.

11:00 - 12:00: Capital Suite 1: Kill the Parents panel with Todd McCaffrey, Leigh Bardugo, Grá Linnaea, Amy McCulloch.

12pm: Signing on the Forbidden Planet stand


Saturday, August 16th:
LonCon 3 – The 72nd World Science Fiction Convention
ExCeL London, Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 1XL

10am – 11am: Autographing Space: Signing session!

12pm – 1pm: London Suite 4: Kaffeeklatsch with author Michael Swanwick.

Sunday, August 17th:

Edinburgh International Book Festival
Box Office: boxoffice@edbookfest.co.uk or +44 (0)845 373 5888
https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/

2:30pm: Public event with author Justin Somper!
Venue: Peppers Theatre, Charlotte Square

3:30pm: Signing in the festival bookshop


Tuesday August 19th:

3pm: Signing at Waterstones Newcastle upon Tyne
Emerson Chambers, Blackett St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7JF
Further details: 0191 261 7757
Event Details Here

6pm: Event with Leigh Bardugo at Seven Stories in Newcastle
Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle. NE1 2PQ
Tel: 0845 271 0777
Event Details Here


Wednesday August 20th:

12:30pm: Signing at Waterstones Leeds
93-97 Albion St, Leeds LS1 5JS
Further details: 0113 244 4588
Event Details Here

6:30pm: Event with Leigh Bardugo at Waterstones’ Liverpool One
12 College Lane, Liverpool L1 3DL
Event Details Here

-

US TOUR: SEPTEMBER 2nd-13th:


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Published on August 06, 2014 10:33 • 796 views

July 24, 2014

So, I’m finally back on the east coast, and in the process of house-hunting (it’s just as stressful as I’d expected it to be, but also fun & exciting), BUT I have a bunch of suuuuper-awesome THRONE OF GLASS news to share with you! US Tour Information! Reviews! Covers!

Before I dive into today’s big news (aka tour info), I have a few absolutely amazing reviews for HEIR OF FIRE to share with you guys!

First of all, HOF received a Top Pick rating from RT Magazine, which is just…beyond incredible. I’m honored & thrilled. (Click for a bigger image.)

RT Review 3
Then, it received a truly lovely review from School Library Journal, which has some spoiler-y stuff, SO I’m just going to post these tidbits:

“Readers will devour Maas’s latest entry. The plot remains fast paced, balancing scenes of intense action with emotionally wrenching interactions between characters. Intriguing backstories continue to develop, vacillating between thrilling and heartbreaking, leaving readers to guess where alliances truly lie. While the story continues to be told from multiple perspectives, the addition of new characters brings tangled new relationships and dimension to the plot. …A must-purchase for libraries…”
Annnnd lastly, it received a wonderful review from Kirkus (again, trimmed for spoilers and/or a bunch of synopsis stuff):

“…Tension snowballs into devastating twists and an absolutely riveting ending. Maas’ usual hallmarks—an epic fantasy setting and the little-exploited truth that platonic relationships can be more intense and compelling than romantic—are present in force. Will leave readers ravenous for more.”
So, thank you RT Magazine, SLJ, and Kirkus, for such fantastic, thoughtful reviews!

And speaking of HEIR OF FIRE… It’s been so hard keeping quiet regarding details about my upcoming US tour for the book, but I can finally, finally announce tour stops and dates! (Click for a larger image.)

HeirofFire_tourTwitter_a.jpgYou might notice that this year’s tour is a bit different from the one I had for CROWN OF MIDNIGHT. This year, I was fortunate enough to be able to invite my closest friends & favorite authors to join me at every stop, and I couldn’t be more excited about it! (Also, my publisher, Bloomsbury, is the GREATEST for making this happen.)

I’ll be kicking off the tour with a launch party at Books of Wonder (aka my childhood bookstore & one of my favorite places on the planet) in New York City with my two best friends, Susan Dennard and Alex Bracken, and then getting on the road for a few weeks! I cannot wait to see some of you at these stops—I have a feeling this tour is going to be a total blast. <3

(Also, I’ll have a final schedule for my upcoming UK tour in a week or two! Stay posted, because I’ll be adding more events to my preliminary list!)

Annnnd in case you missed it a few weeks ago, here are the GLORIOUS back covers for the US and UK editions of HEIR OF FIRE!

USA:
HeirOfFire_back_YS_reveal.jpg (1)

UK & ROW:
HOF BACK COVER.jpg (1)
YAYYYY!

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Published on July 24, 2014 07:20 • 659 views

July 9, 2014

So, this is just a super-quick update to let you know that I might be a little MIA for the rest of the summer!

After six years in SoCal, I’m finally (finally!) moving back to the east coast! Long story short: my husband was offered a position in Philadelphia, and we jumped at the chance to move back. Honestly, we’ve both been wanting to return to the east coast for a few years now—not just to be closer to family & friends, but also because we actually miss everything about living there (...even winter).

If you’d asked me six years ago if I’d ever move back to the northeast, I would have said hell no, but… I slowly began realizing how much I missed it. How I missed things like rain. And thunderstorms. On the rare, RARE occasions when it rains in SoCal, I’d open up all the windows in my house so I could savor every sound & smell. That’s how much I missed it. And then seasons… Every fall, I’d find myself massively & deeply homesick for changing leaves & autumn atmosphere… And don’t get me started on the weirdness of the winter holidays in 80-degree weather. Nice for a few years, but…ultimately not for me.

So, I’m pretty ecstatic that as of this Saturday, I’ll be getting on a plane and going home. (Another plus of being in the Philly area: super-close to NYC, aka my hometown & one true love.)

When I’m not busy with moving & getting settled, I’ll be working on my edits for the fourth THRONE OF GLASS book, drafting the sequel to A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES (my new adult fantasy series), and preparing for my upcoming UK and US tours (details on those SOON!).

Andddd speaking of my books, Booklist gave HEIR OF FIRE a pretty damn awesome review (emphasis mine):


In the last installment of Maas’ best-selling series, Celaena discovered long-held secrets not only about her heritage and destiny but also her immense inborn power. Almost all of the tantalizing questions posed in that volume are answered in this hefty follow-up, and it doesn’t disappoint. After wallowing in hopelessness while on the run, Celaena is scooped up by a gruff fae warrior who helps her shape and control her terrifying power, a power great enough to crumble the tyrannical regime she served as King’s Champion. Meanwhile, Celaena’s friends secretly work together to undermine the wicked king’s unspeakable cruelty, and a legion of witches—perhaps the most fascinating characters so far—lie in wait to make their own power grab. … Maas has a screenwriter’s eye for plotting, and...the pages fly by. Series fans will be relieved to hear that this installment is only the halfway point, and thanks to Maas’ adroit plot maneuvers, well-wrought characters, and immersive world building, they’ll be positively hooked for the forthcoming volumes.

Excuse me for a moment while I freak a bit over the “ and a legion of witches—perhaps the most fascinating characters so far ” line. There’s lots to love about this review, but…that line is 100000% my favorite (…I think you guys know about my love for Manon/the Thirteen by now). So, thank you, Booklist, for such a lovely review!

I think that’s it for now! Between moving & being on deadline for a few projects, I’ll be online kinda sporadically for the rest of the summer, but I’ll pop back in to update you guys with any exciting TOG & ACOTAR news!

Annnnd here’s what I’m listening to as I finish packing up my house (oldies, but goodies--though be warned of fairly explicit language):






Um, I literally just realized how truly, truly explicit those songs are, so… if that sort of thing offends you, just pretend this is my packing song (technically, it IS on my “Get Your Ass Back To The East Coast” playlist—and is ALSO on my TOG Book 4 playlist):

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Published on July 09, 2014 13:42 • 765 views

June 13, 2014

So, I’m emerging from my mini vacation with a bunch of super-exciting announcements!

Some of you might have already heard a little bit about this, but… I’m so, so thrilled to announce that I’ll be returning to the UK for another tour this August!

I had the time of my LIFE on tour in the UK & Europe last fall, so it’s beyond wonderful to get to return this year! We’ll be announcing more events over the summer, but as of right now, here are a few places to find me (and fellow YA fantasy author, Leigh Bardugo!):

Sunday, August 17th:
2:30pm Public event at Edinburgh International Book Festival with Justin Somper!
Venue: Peppers Theatre, Charlotte Square
Tickets go on sale on June 24th
Box Office: boxoffice@edbookfest.co.uk or +44 (0)845 373 5888
https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/


Tuesday August 19th:
3pm Signing Waterstones Newcastle upon Tyne
Emerson Chambers, Blackett St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7JF
Further details: 0191 261 7757
Event Details Here

6pm Event with Leigh Bardugo at Seven Stories in Newcastle
Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle. NE1 2PQ
Tel: 0845 271 0777
Event Details Here


Wednesday August 20th:
12:30pm Signing at Waterstones Leeds
93-97 Albion St, Leeds LS1 5JS
Further details: 0113 244 4588
Event Details Here

6:30pm Event with Leigh Bardugo at Waterstones’ Liverpool One
12 College Lane, Liverpool L1 3DL
Event Details Here

--
AND! Here are some other awesome/exciting announcements:
Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 12.27.38 PMThis was just announced the other day, but if you want a signed copy of HEIR OF FIRE, you can pre-order one from Books of Wonder (my childhood bookstore & one of my favorite places on earth)! Click here for more info!

--

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My amazing publisher, Bloomsbury, is hosting a THRONE OF GLASS readalong this summer! They’re offering some INCREDIBLE prizes for participating ($500 Topshop gift card?! I am SO there.) Click here to sign up!

--

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 12.53.02 PM
Even though HEIR OF FIRE doesn’t release until September, if you’re just dying to get your hands on a copy AND you feel like donating to an incredible charity, you should check out the YARunsA5K fundraiser (hosted by my soul-twin/jaeger co-pilot, Susan Dennard). I’m donating signed copies of ALL my books PLUS a signed galley of HEIR OF FIRE for one of their auctions. Click here for more info!
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Annnnd I think that’s it! I’ve been reading a ton this past week (currently devouring all of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s/J. Lynn's New Adult books. Her WAIT FOR YOU series is awesomeeeee, and I’m madly in love with Cam), and taking some much-needed time for myself to relax.

Also, because I can't resist sharing music, I’ve had all of First Aid Kit’s albums on repeat thanks to their latest (STAY GOLD) recently releasing, and this band… Guys. Where has First Aid Kit been my whole life? I swear, half the songs on their new album could literally be about HEIR OF FIRE (“Stay Gold” “Master Pretender” “The Bell” and “A Long Time Ago” could pretty much be written by/about Celaena, and “I Met With The King” from one of their earlier albums). It’s been a while since I’ve fallen so head over heels in love with a band—some of their songs are like a freaking punch to the HEART (“I Met With the King” completely destroys me, and I will be shocked if there’s ever a day when I can get through that song without crying.)

So, that’s my super-long way of saying GO LISTEN TO THEM. Buy every song and album. In case you think I’m full of shit, here are some of my favorite songs:“Wolf" (this was my gateway drug to First Aid Kit)

“Silver Lining” (this song SPEAKS TO ME AS A HUMAN BEING)


“I Met With The King”


“Stay Gold”


"Waitress Song"
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Published on June 13, 2014 13:09 • 663 views

June 5, 2014

SO, the past few weeks have been an absolute whirlwind of super-fun, super-awesome stuff! I had an absolutely AMAZING time meeting readers and fellow authors at RT in New Orleans (I learned SO MUCH about writing while attending various panels, and came home totally inspired to write!), and completely fell in love with NOLA, too (THE FOOD! the architecture! the MUSIC!).

And, as always, it rejuvenated my heart/soul/creative spirit to be around my BFFers & fellow writers, Susan Dennard, Erin Bowman, and Biljana Likic. Here we are, about to listen to some incredible big band jazz at Snug Harbor:

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Last week, I had the privilege of attending BEA in NY for the third year in a row, and, as usual, I had a WONDERFUL (if not very, very busy) time! BEA is one of my favorite events of the year, mainly because it’s usually right when ARCs of my books finally start finding their way into the hands of readers/reviewers, so…it was really, really cool and surreal to get to sign HEIR OF FIRE (and it blew my mind that readers lined up two hours before the signing—you guys are the BEST).

And speaking of HEIR OF FIRE… So, the other week, I got some crazy-awesome good news about the book. Like, when I read the email from Bloomsbury, I actually burst into hysterical hu-hu-hu tears at my desk, and then cried on and off for the rest of the day. Because….

Tamora Pierce blurbed HEIR OF FIRE.
And said:

“Celaena balances between the living and the dead, humans and faeries, while her world creeps toward a dreadful war between the great and the monstrous. I was afraid to put the book down! ...Celaena is as much an epic hero as Frodo or Jon Snow!”

Tamora Pierce. Said that. About my books. About Celaena.

Annnnd okay, 10 days later, and I’m actually tearing up as I write this because it still doesn’t feel real, because Tamora is one of my personal heroes, and I GET TO DO MY DREAM JOB BECAUSE OF HER BOOKS, and because “Celaena is as much an epic hero as Frodo or Jon Snow!” is pretty much beyond ANYTHING I ever dreamed of anyone saying about the series/Celaena, let alone Tamora EFFING Pierce.

So…that is my news. I keep pinching myself over it. Thank you SO MUCH, Tamora, for the blurb, the kindness, and being such an inspiring person. <3

Before receiving her blurb, I had the pleasure and HONOR of being on a panel at RT with Tamora (confession: I actually burst into tears as I explained how much her books and her career meant to me), and she is just….a wonderful, clever, gracious, charming, and supremely badass person (getting to be on that panel with her was ALSO a dream come true for me). So, I’m just…over the moon right now.

And in other news, I turned in THRONE OF GLASS Book 4 this week. Hooray! It’s ginormous and I’m already wincing at the thought of just how many words I’ll have to revise. But while it’s in my editor’s brilliant hands, I’m taking a few days off before starting work on drafting Book 2 in the A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES series (crazy that I’m already starting to work on it when Book 1 hasn’t even released yet!).

So, busy summer ahead, full of juggling various deadlines, but… I like being busy. It’s been two days since I turned in TOG 4, and I’m already antsy about not working (don’t get me wrong, I LOVE reading for hours on end & not having deadlines breathing down my neck, but… not writing every day makes me restless). So, we’ll see how long my self-imposed vacation actually lasts. ;)

Annnd, just because I can't resist the urge to recommend music... I'm currently obsessed with CHVRCHES' The Bones of What You Believe album, especially this song ("Gun"), which I've been listening to on repeat for weeks:

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Published on June 05, 2014 11:05 • 1,097 views

May 12, 2014

SO, I’m just going to announce all the news-y/event stuff first, so I can ramble for the rest of this post about the HEIR OF FIRE excerpt that’s now online.

I have TWO upcoming events:

logo
Thursday, May 15th:
10 AM: "Fantasy: Breathing Life Into It" panel with PJ Schnyder, Kristen Callihan, Mary Robinette Kowal, Mur Lafferty, and Tamora Pierce (!!!!!).
Location: Canal Street Marriott, 2nd Floor, Studio 4 (Preservation Hall)

1:30 PM: "How To Market Yourself Like A Celebrity While Maintaining Approachability" panel with my partners in crime, Erin Bowman and Susan Dennard, along with Victoria Scott, and Tessa Gratton.
Location: Canal St Marriott, 4th Floor, Balcony K.

Saturday, May 17th:
11AM-2PM: Giant Book Fair . I’ll be signing THRONE OF GLASS & CROWN OF MIDNIGHT in the YA alley (authors are seated alphabetically).
Location: Canal St Marriott, 3rd Floor, Grand Ballroom & Mardi Gras Ballroom

6:15pm-8:00pm: Teen Day Party
Location: Canal St Marriott, 3rd Floor, Mardi Gras Ballroom


BookExpo America (BEA):

I’m so honored and thrilled to be coming back to BEA this year!

I’ll only be there on FRIDAY, May 30th, and will be signing ARCs of HEIR OF FIRE from 11-12 (Table 5, Autographing Area).

I’ve been told that this is the ONLY time Bloomsbury will be giving out ARCs of the book during all of BEA, so… definitely drop by if you want a copy!



Speaking of HEIR OF FIRE, Bloomsbury is doing something SUPER awesome for the book trailer. They’ve known pretty much from Day 1 just how SPECTACULAR TOG readers are—and they’re so amazed by all the fan-art, videos, and music that you guys have created over the past few years that they want to share it with the world by incorporating it into the HEIR OF FIRE trailer!

I think this is pretty much the COOLEST idea ever, and couldn’t say YES fast enough when they pitched the idea to me! So, if you’ve ever made any TOG artwork, or videos, or music--or if you've been wanting to do it but haven't had the chance yet--then you can find more details here:

HOF Trailer

ANNNND, I just want to say a HUGE thank-you to everyone who came out to celebrate Celaena’s birthday party the other weekend! I had SUCH a blast answering questions and talking about the books—and sharing an excerpt of HEIR OF FIRE with you all!

If you missed the party, or just want a first look at HEIR OF FIRE, you can read the chapter HERE.

So, you’ll notice right away that this is chapter FOUR of HEIR OF FIRE—and introduces Manon Blackbeak, who is a brand-new character to the series and is one of the Ironteeth witches.

If you’ve read the novellas (especially THE ASSASSIN AND THE DESERT), or CROWN OF MIDNIGHT (*cough* Baba Yellowlegs *cough*), you might already know a few things about the Ironteeth witches. The witches of Erilea had always been part of my later plans for the series, and Manon was a character that lurked in the back of my mind for years, but I honestly hadn’t really planned on introducing her *this* soon.

But I had this perfect storm of inspiration right around the time that I was finishing up CROWN OF MIDNIGHT—mostly triggered by tons of totally random music (the soundtracks to Fright Night, Hocus Pocus, Matrix, Rescuers Down Under, and Free Willy (Yep. NO SHAME IN ADMITTING IT.), among many others).

And Manon Blackbeak just…stalked right into my head, and demanded that her story be told now. Not in Books 5 or 6, but in right now, in HEIR OF FIRE, if I wanted to do her any justice later on. And her voice was so clear, so…different from anything I’d written before, that her story just poured of me. She was wicked, and cruel, and a natural-born predator—hell, she wasn’t even human—and I somehow had a freedom while writing her character that I didn’t necessarily have with others.

So, this introductory chapter of Manon’s is actually the first thing of hers I EVER wrote—and it pretty much gushed out of me while I listened to these three tracks (random aside: the new Fright Night, both in terms of music and as a movie, wound up providing a big kernel of inspiration for Manon). In the order that they appear/inspired this scene:

"A Terrible Vampire Name." <--the 35-second mark is EXACTLY when I imagine Manon saying "Wrong kind of witch." And the 40-second mark is pretty much what I imagine playing when she reveals her iron teeth & nails.


"There's a lot of bad people out there."

"Welcome to Fright Night." <--This inspired the last paragraph of the chapter:



Very, very little of what I write as a first draft ever winds up intact by the time my books are on a shelf. Almost every scene get heavily revised, rewritten, trimmed… But this opening chapter of Manon’s is pretty much exactly as it was when I first wrote it.

Honestly, I have no idea where this scene came from—only that those three tracks from the Fright Night soundtrack just…triggered something in my head, and the scene unfolded so quickly that I could barely type fast enough. I’m a pretty visual person—when I daydream about my books, I usually SEE them in my head, as if they were a movie.

So when I heard this music, I just saw an opening scene where this young witch is hiding in a closet while these three men ransack her cottage (and are also planning to do reallyyy bad things to her, thinking she’s alone, defenseless, & a “good” witch)… And none of these men realize that she isn’t hiding at all, but biding her time—and that she’s actually arranged her house as a trap for them.

My favorite moment in this scene is when the first of those men realizes it (pretty much at the same time the reader does)—that these three predators have actually just walked into the den of an Apex Predator….and that they’re not predators at all but merely PREY to her... That she’s not a “good” witch (aka the Crochan witches) but a Blackbeak witch—belonging to one of the three Ironteeth Witch-Clans, and very wicked indeed.

cfc56d8b28737f91be21426ac90e702fAnd despite daydreaming about her for a while, it wasn’t until I wrote this scene that I really GOT who Manon is, what her history was, what her LIFE was like—what it was to be a 100+ year-old Ironteeth witch, vicious and bored and more than a little arrogant. And I just…fell in love with her. (I don’t know what this says about me as a person, considering that she tears out the throats & disembowels three men in this scene.)

SO… That’s a little about this scene, and Manon. I could probably write 20 pages about her origins and what writing her narrative was like, but… I’ll stop now.

In a nutshell, I had an absolute BLAST writing her POV in HEIR OF FIRE, and I adore her beyond all reason, and hope you guys enjoy this little excerpt & introduction!
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Published on May 12, 2014 12:30 • 1,303 views

April 24, 2014

SO, I’m about 4 days away from handing in my next round of edits on A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES (soooo close to being done with this book!), but I figured I’d check in to make a teeeeensy tiiiiny announcement…

THE HEIR OF FIRE COVER HAS FINALLY BEEN REVEALED!

You can see the official reveal over on the TOG Facebook page, but I’ve had some requests for the covers in hi-res, so…here they are!

U.S.:

HOF US
UK: HOF UK

Honestly, I can’t decide which I prefer because they are both SO gorgeous, and beyond anything I’d imagined for this cover.

Fun Facts about this cover:

The turquoise flame on the UK cover is a perfect representation of the magical abilities that a certain someone (SO hard to talk about this without spoiling COM for anyone!) reveals at the end of CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, and miiight have to deal with in HEIR OF FIRE.
So, Celaena is actually left-handed on this cover—which I find to be super-cool, since it totally harkens back to the mention of her ambidextrous training (in TOG).
This is so not a “fact”, but one of my favorite things about these covers is that Celaena has Lady Amalthea hair.
So, if you’ve read the books, you’ll know that Celaena is golden-blonde (and, uh, does not have gray/glorious vampire skin). BUT there’s a new character introduced in HOF who actually *does* have moon-white hair like this. So…hooray! You might find some glimpses of her on my TOG Pinterest board.

Annnnd those are all the fun facts I have. At least non-spoilery ones. :P

All of my books are written/outlined using extensive playlists, but for some reason, HEIR OF FIRE feels the most closely tied to music. I usually write to movie scores and classical music, but for HEIR OF FIRE, I found myself inspired by a far wider range. Example: Kanye’s Yeezus album was a huge source of inspiration—more in terms of tone/feeling (obviously, if you listen to the lyrics).

“Blood on the Leaves” is the first track on my HEIR OF FIRE playlist—it’s a song I listened to on repeat while slipping into Celaena’s mental state at the start of the book (again, more in terms of tone/atmosphere than actual lyrics).



Celaena’s head at the start of HEIR OF FIRE is not a happy place to be, and throughout the various rounds of editing and rereading this book again and again, part of me always cringed at having to slip back into that dark place with her. But getting back into her head was always made a bit easier by listening to this song. Proof that writers are crazy: I’d put this song on repeat, close my eyes, and let the music/atmosphere sink in as I thought about Celaena, and everything that had happened to her up until the start of HEIR OF FIRE. It was like…meditating. When I’d open my eyes, I’d be in Celaena’s head and ready to work.

“Waking Up” from the Oblivion soundtrack was the next song I’d turn to—and the piece of music that fits perfectly with the opening chapter of HEIR OF FIRE. I can literally line up the music with sentences/passages from that chapter.



While “Blood on the Leaves” was my gateway into Celaena’s head/attitude, “Waking Up” provided the emotional undercurrent—her relentless anger, the glimmers of determination, the self-loathing and despair and hollowness.

Writing Chapter 1 while listening to this piece often left me in tears, to the point where I’d just put my head in my hands and CRY. (Have we discussed how I'm a super-emotional/slightly insane writer/human being?) It’s hard to talk about the book without giving too much away, but if you’ve read CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, you know that Celaena is a biiiit of a mess by the end. I don’t think it’s much of a spoiler to say that she’s gotten worse by the time HOF begins, since the UK summary starts with “Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien's only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend.”

But, basically, whenever I hear “Waking Up,” I think about that opening chapter, about the person that Celaena has become, and my heart just…breaks for her. (Strange thing, loving your characters enough to feel their pain as if it were your own.)

Annnd those are the first two tracks on my HEIR OF FIRE playlist. The rest get a bit spoiler-y, so I’ll hold off on sharing them, BUT…

“Run Boy Run” by Woodkid was one of the songs I listened to on repeat while writing HEIR OF FIRE. Mostly while writing Celaena’s POV, but I also found myself writing to it while working on Dorian & Chaol’s sections, and Manon Blackbeak’s narrative. It’s now one of my all-time favorite songs (recommended to me by my soul-twin/Jaeger co-pilot, Sooz), and the last minute (technically minute & ten seconds) straight-up KILLS me.



If I had to pick one song that encompasses HEIR OF FIRE, that embodies what Celaena goes through, that contains the heart of this book, it’d be this.

So, that’s my update. Which turned out to be wayyy longer than I thought.

BUT if you want to hear me read from HEIR OF FIRE, then you should attend the online birthday party for Celaena on May 3rd! Details below.

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Hooray!
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Published on April 24, 2014 11:57 • 1,235 views

April 8, 2014

So, I’m still juggling various TOG & ACOTAR deadlines, but I just wanted to quickly announce some *exciting* upcoming events!

THIS THURSDAY (April 10th) at 3 PM EST (Noon Pacific; 8 PM UK time), I’ll be chatting on Twitter with the amazingly talented & lovely Samantha Shannon, author of THE BONE SEASON (which was one of my favorite reads of 2013)! We’ll be talking about our series, writing, favorite books, and lots more! So, if you’re around, definitely stop by—and bring any burning questions!

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THIS SUNDAY (April 13th) I’ll be at the LA Times Festival of Books! Hooray! Here’s my schedule for the day (if you’re at the festival, definitely come say hi!!):

10-11 AM: Signing at the Mrs. Nelson’s Book Fair Company tent (booth #720) with fellow Bloomsbury author, Robin Benway!!

1:30-2:30: Panel: Young Adult Sci-Fi: Fantastical Tales (with Marissa Meyer, Leigh Bardugo, Cecil Castellucci, and Andrew Smith). Location: YA Stage

2:30-3:30: Signing with my fellow panelists in the autographing area!


ALSO! On May 3rd, my wonderful publisher is throwing an online BIRTHDAY PARTY for Celaena. I’ll be there via video chat, answering any/all questions about TOG and reading an exclusive excerpt from HEIR OF FIRE!

Space to tune in to the video chat is limited, so reserve your spot by sending in your pre-order receipt for HEIR OF FIRE to Bloomsbury (details below)! I am so, so, SO excited about this chat—it’s always super-fun to interact with you guys, and I can’t wait to share some of HEIR OF FIRE!

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Speaking of HEIR OF FIRE, I’m off to work on my first pass pages (aka the last time I get to read through this book & make any changes before it is DONE!).


(565 pages = one big, big book baby.)
Check back over the next few weeks for more exciting news & upcoming event info!

Annnnnd here’s what I’m listening to on repeat these days (mostly while editing ACOTAR):



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Published on April 08, 2014 13:21 • 666 views

March 20, 2014

Well, I just received some really exciting/awesome news regarding my upcoming fantasy series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, so I figured now is as good a time as any to give you guys an update on what I’m working on!

But first—thank you all SO MUCH for making the release of The Assassin’s Blade so fun and spectacular. You guys are the best. (Also, if you’re in the US, there’s a sneak peek of Heir of Fire in the back of the book.)

Anyway! I am super, super, SUUUPER thrilled to announce that the audio rights to ACOTAR sold to Recorded Books (at auction!). It’s such a tremendous honor to work with Recorded Books, considering how AMAZING their YA list is. So, THANK YOU, to Recorded Books—and a HUGE thank you to my incredible & badass agent, Tamar, for making it happen. <3

ACOTAR Audio
(Hooray, it’s official!)

Speaking of audiobooks, the audiobooks for Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight are now available from Audible (and I think The Assassin’s Blade will be out soon, too)! Elizabeth Evans, the narrator, has done an absolutely marvelous job bringing Celaena and the world of TOG to life.

So, to give you guys an update, right now I’m currently working on:

- Heir of Fire : I sent in my copyedits at the beginning of March, which means I’m now waiting to receive my first pass pages (aka the last time I get to read through/make little changes to the book). And AFTER THAT, I will be officially DONE with this book! Which is a bizzare and wonderful and overwhelming feeling. Heir of Fire is so, so, so close to my heart that it’s difficult for me to even TALK about some parts without getting weirdly emotional. I really, really can’t wait for you guys to read it this fall. (And can't wait for you to see the COVER! I just got a peek at the *almost* finished artwork for it and it is BY FAR my favorite cover yet.)

Book 4 of the TOG series : I am in the middle of drafting this book, and I can’t say much about it, but, as usual, if you head on over to my TOG pinterest board , you might find some hints about the book (and Heir of Fire).

A Court of Thorns and Roses (aka ACOTAR!) : I turned in my first round of ACOTAR edits at the end of February, and received my second round a few weeks later. This second round is due at the beginning of April, so when I’m not drafting TOG4, I’m working on ACOTAR (and getting so excited to share this book with you guys in 2015).

Other than that, I have two upcoming events to mention (more to come as they’re made official):

LA Times Festival of Books: I’ll be on the "Young Adult Sci-Fi: Fantastical Tales" panel with Leigh Bardugo, Cecil Castellucci, Marissa Meyer, and Andrew Smith on Sunday, April 13th at 1:30.

RT Booklovers Convention in New Orleans : I’ll be on the "How To Market Yourself Like A Celebrity While Maintaining Approachability" panel with my partners in crime, Erin Bowman and Susan Dennard, along with Victoria Scott, Tessa Gratton, and Corrine Jackson on Thursday, May 15th at 1:30. I’ll also be participating in the giant book fair/signing on Saturday, May 17th.

Again, I’ll be announcing more events for 2014 as they’re confirmed/official, so keep checking back!

Annnnd now it’s time to dive back into TOG 4. In the meantime, here’s some music that I like to pretend plays during the most epic Heir of Fire trailer you can possibly imagine:



(It actually reminds me the most of Manon Blackbeak, an upcoming character in Heir of Fire, but, uh, you guys haven’t met her yet.)

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Published on March 20, 2014 14:39 • 821 views