Victoria Schwab's Blog, page 8
July 1, 2013
Announcing the VICIOUS prequel short story, WARM UP!!!
While I was over in Scotland, I had the chance to write a short story! My first official one. My editor and I wanted to give readers a glimpse into the world of VICIOUS without spoiling anything from the book, and WARM UP was born! The full pitch for WARM UP will go live closer to the story’s release on Tor.com this August, but in the meantime, check out the gorgeous cover art. The amazing art director over at Tor, Irene Gallo, was able to get my cover illustrator, Victo Ngai, to do the art!!
VICIOUS is now up on Netgalley!
Well, let me be clear, 115 pages of VICIOUS are up on Netgalley! If you want to get a taste of the book, wet your feet, whet your appetite, whatever turn of phrase you like, hop on over and request!
Also it will make my heart happy. Like, really happy. And happy hearts are more likely to give away goodies.
Also also I KNOW it’s only 115 pages. I know. We went through this with THE ARCHIVED, but lovelies, we saw such a marked difference in sales, and Tor and I want to make sure people go buy the book so that I can, you know, have the chance to write more books. AND if you don’t want to read the preview because you’d rather read the whole thing in September, that’s totally fine, too. I just want to make sure that the people who WANT a sneak peek have that option!
If you’re on the fence at all–I know I have a lot of YA readers who aren’t sure what I sound like writing as V.E.–I highly encourage you to try the sample! It’s a really good indicator.
And to everyone, it would make me so happy if you hit REQUEST over on Netgalley, and/or spread the word about it being up there. The publishers, they watch these kinds of things.
DID YOU KNOW…if you pre-order VICIOUS, you get trading cards?
It’s true! If you pre-order VICIOUS and email proof to viciousveschwab at gmail dot com, a gorgeous complete set of trading cards–yes, including the author card–will arrive in the mail! This opportunity will run all the way up to release, but the online price of the book might go up, so keep that in mind!
Last but not least, giveaway winners!
The winner of the VICIOUS arc is…
The winners of the VICIOUS trading cards are…
–Nicole de Leon
There’s still one piece of really awesome VICIOUS news coming, but I’m not allowed to announce it yet, so for now I’ll just say THANK YOU.
Thank you for being awesome and thank you for all of your excitement so far and for continuing to build that noise in the coming months. We all know how important your voices are, and I’ve felt them there, cheering with me
June 26, 2013
I’m writing a book. (Aren’t you always? says the internet. Pretty much, I answer).
And in order to write a book, I have to, well, write a book.
Specifically, a first draft.
And every single time I find myself writing a first draft, I find myself blogging about how damn hard it is.
Not that I find revising any easier (I find each to have both glorious and hellish attributes).
I love the PIECES of a first draft. I love getting the IDEA. (Those first what-ifs are the most thrilling moments in my life.) I love building the world. Thinking up twists. Discovering characters. Stringing words together into sentences and then into scenes with flow and shape and life. The pieces.
And yet I am perpetually daunted, frustrated, paralyzed, by the act of writing a book.
I’ve discovered that it’s not the ENTIRE draft that scares me.
No, a special kind of hell occurs right around the midway point. Go back. Check the blog. I always post from the throes of the middle third. There’s a reason. Something happens in the middle third, and for me it’s not the obvious plot-slack (I outline, so don’t usually fall victim to the meandering middle and the nervous authorial musings of “Where are my characters going?”).
No, the middle is the fire swamp, the place where doubt and distraction come out to play.
By the time you hit the middle, you’ve come to know the world enough that it feels familiar, and author brains do not like familiar things. Our own familiarity with the work makes it less intriguing than the shiny new ideas poking at our synapses.
By the time you hit the middle, you (if you are me) are far enough into the book to know what to do, but not so far that it seems doable. You’ve written an impressive number of pages but you probably have just as many standing between you and the end and it’s like being on a long flight where you get through the first 4 hours and you realize you still have TWO MOVIES’ WORTH of flying time left.
By the time you hit the middle, you’ve written enough to know things are wrong, but you don’t yet know how to fix them. This. This right here. This is my hell. I revise and polish as I go, and I’ve now written enough books that I can tell when something needs fixing long before I’m capable of fixing it. In writing, things often need to be before they can be improved). Which brings me to this…
You have to KEEP GOING.
Now, I’m NOT one of those writers who believes in just throwing it all down on paper, who preaches the SFD–sh*tty first draft–and says, “Don’t worry about making it good, just make it.”
But I will say this: I think you should try to make it good from the start, but you have to acknowledge that you can’t make it BETTER until you’ve made it in the first place. Let me repeat:
MAKE –> MAKE BETTER.
So here I am, stranded in the dreaded middle of a first draft, constantly glancing back at what I’ve done and sneaking peeks at where I’m going (I need both to keep my spirits up), and reminding myself of everything I’ve said above. And who knows, maybe next time I find myself in the dreaded middle of a first draft, I’ll come back here, and take my own damn advice.
June 24, 2013
Today is the 24th of June. VICIOUS hits shelves on the 24th of September. That means today =
3 MONTHS TILL VICIOUS OMG.
*breathes into bag*
*goes in search of smelling salts*
*eats a box of cookies*
Now, for those of you who’ve been following the blog for some time, you know what these month marks mean!
ONE person will win an elusive signed ARC of VICIOUS and a set of trading cards.
FIVE more people will win a set of trading cards.
I’m in the dreaded middle of a first draft right now–I swear, so many fire swamps in writing books–so I’m going to keep this nice and simple.
You can earn…
+1 point for commenting on this post
+1 point for posting about VICIOUS/the giveaway on Facebook
+1 point for posting about VICIOUS/the giveaway on Tumblr
+1 point for pinning VICIOUS/the giveaway to Pinterest
+1 point for blogging about VICIOUS the giveaway
+1 point for adding VICIOUS on Goodreads
+1 point for every list you add VICIOUS to on Goodreads
+1 point for asking your library to order VICIOUS
+1 point for any extra clever things you can think of
You can comment below when you have points to report, and you can earn each of the above points ONCE PER DAY. Feel free to comment once with all your points at the end of the day, or as you complete each task.
You have from now until FRIDAY, JUNE 28TH, 9PM CST to enter.
READY SET GO.
June 16, 2013
Some bad things happened recently.
The kind of bad that made me sit down on the floor and sob and wonder questions like why do I and is it worth it and will the road ever run smoother. The bad happened in amid a spot of good, and I don’t know if the good saved me, or if it made it worse for letting me believe a spot of good could be a world of it.
I went away for a little break. Away from writing. Away from the life connected with it, and all the weight. I drove into the countryside with two amazing friends, stretched in the backseat and listened to music and watched stars through the moon roof and pieced my hope back together.
And now I’m back. Back and still struggling to find myself amid the lingering malaise–frustration, fatigue, anger. I am trying to find my focus. Trying to use that spot of good as a raft.
(So much good lovelies. An ocean of it. Why does a spot bad have the power to pollute it?)
I need that focus. I haven’t found it yet, but I need it more than ever. I hope I’ve not–and fear I have–spooked it away with all my needing. At some point I’m going to have to climb out of myself and all these heavy thoughts and into other selves and find their thoughts instead and it feels like I’ve forgotten how to do that, but I know it’s just the spot of bad, holding on, dragging me down.
I’m writing this post to myself as much as you, to tell myself it’s time to let go.
Bad things happen.
But good things can be made. From them. In spite of them.
And it’s time to make good things.
This summer I will write two books. Aim for a third if I’m feeling ambitious (hard to believe in my current state, but writing this is finding words and right now I’ll take them, whatever their shape). This summer I will drag my eyes away from the recent past and refocus on the near future. On a season of writing. Creating. Building new roads, and rafts, and whatever else I need to stay afloat.
It’s time to stand up again.
It’s time to start.
So I’m saying this to you now. If you’re feeling lost, bone-sad or heartbroken or hopeless or astray, get up. We cannot move forward until we stand up.
Let’s stand up.
June 10, 2013
Sorry for the short post, lovelies. Life’s been rocky (after an already downhill week, I lost my beloved dog on Friday) and I haven’t been feeling chatty or post-y.
Let’s get straight to the good stuff.
The winner of the VICIOUS galley is…
The winners of the VICIOUS trading cards are…
The Cover Contessa
Ava at YAvaReads
I also decided to pick two more winners of trading cards, and those are…
Lovelies, please email your mailing info to vschwab at comcast dot net to claim your prizes.
June 5, 2013
I thought I’d do something for all those who couldn’t make it to BEA, and those who could but couldn’t snag an ARC.
I’ve decided to give you one of mine.
ONE winner will get one of my personal ARCs and a set of trading cards.
THREE runner-ups will get sets of trading cards.
You can enter EVERY DAY.
You get an entry for commenting and then an extra entry for tweeting/FBing/blogging/etc.
Giveaway runs until Sunday 9PM EST.
Sorry lovelies, but this one is US only.
Ready, set, go.
June 2, 2013
I’m back from BEA and all its BEA-shaped shenanigans, and thought I’d do a quick post and try to sum up my feelings, which are myriad and mostly come in squeeees.
It was an absolute whirlwind of a trip. I flew out of Nashville on Thursday at an obscene hour and arrived in NYC around 9AM, dropped my bags at the hotel and hurried over to Javits so as to optimize the time for shenanigans.
I was on the show floor for all of three minutes before I was recognized for the first time! A persistently surreal and wonderful feeling. By fifteen minutes in I had hugged half a dozen bloggers and authors. I barely had time to take it in before dashing off to a lunch meeting with my wonderful Scholastic editor, Aimee.
After tasty treats and a discourse on Scotland, angels and devils, adventure and world domination, I hurried back to BEA and met my Disney*Hyperion editor, Lisa, at the booth, and we took a turn about the floor and it was utterly delightful.
That night I had the pleasure of going to a rooftop party, where I got to fangirl about Cat Valente with Holly Black, clink glasses Gretchen McNeill, Veronica Rossi, Kami Garcia, Zoraida Cordova and dozens of other new and old friends.
Friday was my Actual Author Day.
I roamed the floor with my Tor editor, Miriam, stalking books like MARIE ANTIONETTE SERIAL KILLER and COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN, trying to distract myself from how nervous I was about my 2pm signing.
And then, around 12:30, I started getting tweets. Tweets telling me that people we showing up:
LOTS of tweets:
My fear began to shift into excitement. People were actually coming.
By the time I took my seat, the line was huge. So big it had to be split into several parts around the autograph hall. Tor had send 120 ARCs. It wasn’t nearly enough.
I couldn’t stop smiling.
When people reached the table, they would ask me how I was doing, and it took all my will power not to say I AM DOING F*CKING FABULOUS because the truth is, BEA signings, signings like this, with so much people and so much energy, are my favorite thing in the whole wide world. There are no words. There really aren’t.
As soon as the signing was over I hurried over to one of the BEA Live tents and had a video interview. I’m pretty sure I smiled the entire time. At one point, the interviewer (a very professional gentleman in a suit) leaned forward and said, “You just seem to be having a really, really good time.”
And I said, “I am. I am having a BLAST.”
One of the strangest things is the difference between last year and this one. I pay a lot of attention to personal progress and professional evolution (see my blog post about the Moment I had signing with Carrie and Beth in TX). This year at BEA, so many more people recognized me. So many more knew who I was, what I’d written, was writing. It was extraordinarily cool and humbling and surreal
After being an Actual Author all day I had the pleasure of going out to dinner with old and new friends, which was perfect and restorative. I got to hug Julie Kagawa, see my ex-housemates, chat with my beta, tell the Neil Gaiman hug saga to a fellow fan, talk theology with Annie Gaughen, listen to Gretchen McNeill sing opera, tell a short story to Jeffrey and Jeremy West and Tiffany Schmidt, recount the origins of a wonderful friendship with Laura Whitaker…it goes on. An absolutely perfect end to a perfect day.
Saturday I got to sit in the front row at Neil Gaiman’s talk, and then eat pastries with my Tor editor and toast to a successful time at BEA, but also to the adventure ahead.
VICIOUS is now just 3.5 months from release, and it’s shaping up to be a wild ride.
Thanks for being on it with me
May 29, 2013
While my official signing is from 2-3pm on Friday (Table 17!), I will be wandering the floor Thursday from 10:30-12:130 and then again from 3-5PM, and ALL DAY Friday (seriously, from 10AM till 5PM).
Look for the girl with the bright red hair (chin-length) and the all-black ensemble (or the yellow-and-white-striped sweater).
That’s probably me!
If you find me and come say hello, you will be rewarded with an awkward hug and a set of VICIOUS trading cards
Meanwhile, I have made my own Author! Bingo! Card, and will be attempting to track down various writers and claim hugs.
If you hear someone shout BINGO! on the exhibition floor…that’s probably me.
I am positively jittery with excitement! If you see someone rocking in the corner, grinning like a fool…that’s probably me.
Wishing a wonderful BEA to everyone who’s going!
May the ARC-grabbing odds be ever in your favor!
May 24, 2013
It’s time for a VICIOUS post.
Why? You ask.
Because TODAY marks FOUR MONTHS till VICIOUS hits shelves!
Because VICIOUS recently sold to Titan Books in the UK!
Because my trading cards came in the mail!
Because I get to share THREE NEW BLURBS!
“Vicious is a fun, morally-flexible revenge tale that pits two mad scientists againt each other…Using an entertaining mix of flashbacks and multiple perspectives, Vicious methodically ratchets up the tension as Victor and Eli circle each other for the inevitable kill.”
–Daniel H. Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of ROBOPOCALYPSE
“V.E. Schwab writes with the fiendish ingenuity, sardonic wit, and twisted imagination of a true supervillian. Vicious is a diabolically clever trap that will lure you in and hold you hostage to the very last page!”
–Greg Cox, New York Times bestselling author
“A noirish cross between the X-Men and ‘The Count of Monte Cristo,’…You won’t be able to stop turning the pages.”
–Alex Bledsoe, author of The Hum and the Shiver
And those will be added to these:
“V.E. Schwab demonstrates real literary super powers with VICIOUS –a dynamic and original twist on what it means to be a hero and a villain. A killer from page one. Highly recommended!”
“Vicious is dark and intricate and daring, twisting back and forth through time and morality and life and death until you can’t turn the pages fast enough. I loved it.”
“Utterly brilliant. Schwab takes the notion of superhero fiction and bashes it on its head. If you like it dark, then prepare to be thoroughly entertained.”
“Vicious is something new under the sun as Schwab gathers all the superhero/supervillain tropes and turns them on their sundry heads…I could not put it down.”
–F. Paul Wilson
Annnnnnnd because in one week VICIOUS and I will be at BEA!!!
I will be signing ARCs (provided by Tor) at Autographing Table 17 on Friday, May 31st, from 2-3pm!
If you come see me, you will not only get a shiny signed ARC, but also a full set of trading cards! And if you are a blogger wanting giveaway materials or you simply want some to share, I will give you up to THREE sets of trading cards.
I’ll also be wandering the floor on Thurs, Fri, and Sat, and if you see me and say hi, you will be rewarded with trading cards and awkward hugs
*ALL the flail*
*disappears in a puff of smoke*
May 21, 2013
A month abroad goes something like this:
Home → Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland → Oslo, Norway
Oslo, Norway → Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland → London, England
London, England → Prague, Czech Republic
Prague, Czech Republic → Vienna, Austria
Vienna, Austria → Heidelberg, Germany
Heidelberg, Germany → Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg, France → Dover, England
Dover, England → York, England
York, England → Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland → Home
In photos, it looks something like this:
In words…well, I don’t have any.
There are no words for how I felt standing by the bonfire on Calton Hill during the Beltane Festival in Edinburgh.
No words for walking a character’s steps in London.
No words for the view of Prague from the top of the palace steps, or Vienna’s museum quarter with its majestic architecture.
No words for the cozy streets of Heidelberg, tucked into the hills, or the trains gliding through familiar France, or the strange stillness of the grey English channel.
There are no words for those things. Or if there are, I haven’t found them. I haven’t wanted to, just yet.
But in the months leading up to the trip, and during the month abroad, I’ve been asked one question more than any other: WHY. Why did I do this? Surely there’s a reason. In truth, there are three.
And since I’ve only given little snippets of an answer, I thought I would take the time to try and explain.
If you’ve followed the blog for more than a month or two, you know I have wings tattooed behind my anklebones, both as a nod to Hermes and a reference to my persistent wanderlust. I have a very, very hard time sitting still. It makes me feel static and small in the worst way. Moving, experiencing, making wrong turns and right turns and seeing the world, it makes me happy. Much happier than buying clothes or shoes or a house or whatever else people use money for. I’m lucky in that right now I only have to worry about supporting myself, so I have the freedom to (scrimp and save and budget and plan to use) my resources for travel. Besides, I subscribe to the adage that you can’t write about life if you spend life writing. Yes, I spend a vast, vast amount of time writing, but I would rather do it on a boat or a train or tucked in the corner of a foreign cafe than sitting at my kitchen counter (though incidentally, after a month abroad, I am sooooo looking forward to my counter).
I’ve been thinking about moving to Scotland. Yes, really. One of the best things about my job—one day I will do an honest post about the pros and cons because both are manifold but today is not that day—is the geographic freedom it affords. I don’t have to live in a specific place in order to write books. Two years ago I moved to England for three months and lived in a shed in someone’s back yard (it was all I could afford) while writing THE ARCHIVED simply because I wanted a change of scenery. As a full-time author (a title I hold onto by writing multiple books a year, and one I don’t anticipate to last forever), and one without a husband/S.O/children, I can truly take advantage of the lack of locational confines. So I do. I first visited Scotland a couple years ago, and fell instantly in love. I wanted to confirm that I still felt that love, and I do.
The first two weeks of the trip, which were spent in Scotland with an author friend, were purely for fun (though I wrote a short story, a proposal, and more than 10k of a book, so, I mean, productive fun), the entire second half of the month abroad was actually a research trip for a new book. It took a great deal of careful planning and budgeting, and I’ll likely be spending the rest of the summer eating ramen, but it’s been totally worth it. As for the project itself, the only thing I’ve said about it, and the only thing I will say until it’s written, is that it’s about a twisted love affair between a French girl and the devil. It’s set largely in present-day Brooklyn, but the story is spread over three centuries in Europe, so…yeah.
That’s why I went to Europe.
I wanted to see things.
I wanted to try things.
I wanted to breathe and eat and drink and feel inspired.
I wanted to live in the future and look at the past and I wanted to jot notes on every scrap of paper I could find and feel breathless and remember that I love what I do.
And in two days, this weary little traveler will return home to her kitchen counter feeling all of those things and more.
And ready to write.