the memory trees

Introducing my new monthly newsletter

STAY OUT OF THE FOREST.png

I am starting a monthly newsletter to provide readers with updates and news. Stay Out of the Forest will go out no more than once a month, and it will contain book news, publishing updates, occasional musings on writing and publishing, recommendations and raves, and, of course, a collection of cocktail recipes. I promise to keep things interesting, and I will never spam you with unrelated emails.

This is my way of staying in touch with readers, friends, and fellow authors in a publishing world that has become increasingly overwhelmed by the fast-moving and aggressive social media environment. Because I write everything from adventurous children's novels to high-concept speculative short fiction, I want a way to reach all interested readers and colleagues without individual announcements being lost in the shuffle.

As thanks for signing up, all new subscribers will receive a sneak peek at the first chapter of CITY OF ISLANDS.

If you are want to receive the newsletter, please provide your email via the form below. You'll receive an email containing a link to a PDF with the CITY OF ISLANDS chapter. Thank you very much!

Raising funds for The Dark

The fantastic horror magazine The Dark is fundraising for its next two years of operation, expansion, and filling you brain with disturbing and unsettling stories. I've published one story with The Dark (Caroline at Dusk) and hope to publish with them in the future, as they're a wonderful market full of creepy and unique stories, and they were a joy to work with.

So I'm offering up some rewards for their Kickstarter:

1. A signed advanced readers copy of CITY OF ISLANDS, my upcoming children's fantasy novel;

2. Signed hardcover copies of both Shallow Graves and The Memory Trees;

3. A custom cross-stitch featuring a quotation and imagery from Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House.

There are a bunch of authors offering books, critiques, artwork, and more. Check it out:

The Dark Magazine: Two More Years of Unsettling Fiction!

year in review

'Tis the season in which writers are listing the works they published during the year, for the purposes of clarifying awards eligibility and whatnot.

Alas: I didn't publish any short stories during 2017. I sold a couple to not-yet-published anthologies, and I wrote several more that are now in various stages of revision. I hope to get some new short fiction out into the world in 2018. 

I did publish a novel this year. I am proud of The Memory Trees. I think it's a good book, and hearing from people who read and loved it means the world to me. But the entire experience of trying to promote and launch it was such a nightmare from beginning to end that I really just don't want to think about it anymore. I'm glad the eleven people who read it enjoyed it. If you ever dare ask me why more people didn't read it or even hear about it, my hair will turn to snakes and strangle you. I have a lot of hair. It would be a lot of snakes.

I also finished revising and editing City of Islands, which will be published next July, although I feel like I have scarcely had time to catch my breath from the last book release. The thing I have learned from this experience is that nine months between books is too short. But I am excited to have City of Islands creeping out into the world. It's a fun book, full of magic and salty sea adventures, and I hope readers enjoy it. 

So, onward. I wrote a novel I love during 2017. It's about spaceships and corpses and cults and death. (This is where I start humming, "These are a few of my favorites things….") My current publisher had zero interest in it, and I decided to write it anyway. That was an easy decision. I hope you get to read it someday. 

As for the next step: I know what book I want to write in 2018. I've been thinking about it for a long time. It will be big and complicated and full of generational trauma and gruesome magic and beautiful mountains. (Once again I am humming, "These are a few of my favorite things….") I have no idea if anybody will want to publish it, but, well, the world may well be ending in fire and flood and fascism, so what's the point of waiting? Nobody is ever going to wobble around on their Mad Max: Fury Road acid wasteland stilts saying, "Man, I wish I had spent more time trying to write something more popular and marketable by arbitrary commercial standards." 

That is my writing & publishing 2017 in review. Have a picture of Ireland.

DSCN3477.JPG

The Memory Trees

MemoryTrees HC C.JPG

The Memory Trees is now officially released into the wild! You can buy it wherever books are sold (links here). It's available as a hardcover, ebook, and audiobook. 

I will be making a few appearances at bookstores in San Diego and the Boston area during October, in the company of the fantastic authors Adriana Mather and Shannon M. Parker. You can find a complete list of appearances on my Events page.

To kick off this mini tour, the launch party will be this Saturday, October 14, at 4 p.m. at Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego. Come on by for book talk and baked goods!

If you can't make it to one of the events but still want me to sign your book from afar, simply send proof of purchase and your address to thememorytrees@gmail.com, and I will send you a signed, personalized bookplate and some bookmarks in thanks.

If you are a school librarian or teacher, or you have a book club (of any age!) reading The Memory Trees, feel free to contact me if you are interested in a visit or Skype chat, or even if you just want a bunch of bookplates or bookmarks to hand out to students or book club members.

Finally, thank you to everyone who has read, reviewed, and posted about The Memory Trees in the days leading up to the release. This book was a tough one to finish, and I am forever grateful to everyone who offered their support during the whole long process from writing to publication.

Preorder Promotions for The Memory Trees

There are now two different ways to get a special gift for preordering The Memory Trees.

1. You can still preorder a signed, personalized hardcover copy of The Memory Trees  from Mysterious Galaxy. The first 30 orders will receive with their book a handmade charm bookmark. This offer is good until October 6, 2017.

2. If you have already or plan to preorder The Memory Trees from another source--your local indie, B&N, Amazon, Book Depository, anywhere--I would be happy to send you a signed, personalized bookplate and a couple of paper bookmarks in thanks. Send proof of your purchase to thememorytrees [at] gmail [dot] com with a mailing address and the name (if any) you want personalized on the bookplate. This offer is good until October 10, 2017 and is good anywhere in the world.

Many thanks to everyone looking forward to The Memory Trees! For a list of bookstores where I'll be making appearances in October, please check my Events page for updated information.

image1 bookplate.JPG
image1.JPG

The Memory Trees at Mysterious Galaxy

image2.JPG

You can now preorder a signed, personalized hardcover copy of The Memory Trees from Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego!

The first 30 preorders from Mysterious Galaxy will come with an exclusive, handmade charm bookmark to go with your copy of the book. I'm making the bookmarks myself, using charms of particular items of importance to the story. 

Order by October 6 to receive a handmade bookmark and personalized copy of the book. You can specify how you want it signed in the comments section at checkout.

If you're local to San Diego or southern California, stop by Mysterious Galaxy on Saturday, October 14 at 4 p.m. for the official launch of The Memory Trees. (Locals are welcome to preorder as well--you can always pick up your copy in the store.)

Mysterious Galaxy is an independent bookstore that focuses on fantasy, science fiction, horror, and mystery books for all ages. They are wonderfully supportive of authors both near and far, and I am delighted to be working with them to launch The Memory Trees and provide this exclusive preorder promotion.

a starred review and a great deal

MemoryTrees HC C.JPG

I am delighted to report that The Memory Trees has received a second starred review, this one in the September 2017 issue of the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. They say:

"There is a lot to unpack here, from the tenderness and toxicity that can simultaneously exist in families, to the rippling effect of mental illness, to history’s ability to bring guilt to a faultless generation, and to the search for a solid identity among all those jagged pieces. The orchard’s role in uncovering the truth behind her sister’s death adds a hint of magical realism and mystique, as do the interspersed chapters narrated by Sorrow’s ancestors that allude to but never confirm the orchard’s magical properties."


ShallowGraves HC C.JPG

As of September 5, 2017, Shallow Graves is now available in paperback:

Find buy options here

And the ebook version is currently on sale for $1.99:

Kindle | Nook

 

A starred review from Kirkus!

The early reviews for The Memory Trees are starting to come in, and I am absolutely delighted to learn that it has received a starred review from Kirkus! They say: "An absorbing, lyrically drawn mystery, examination of grief, and cautionary tale."

You can read the full review here, and find preorder links for The Memory Trees here.

The Memory Trees cover reveal!

I am absolutely delighted to reveal the cover of my second novel, The Memory Trees, posted first by the fantastic folks at YA Books Central. Check out that post for my thoughts on the cover and a chance to win a signed hardcover copy of Shallow Graves.

The Memory Trees

coming October 10, 2017

Sorrow Lovegood's life has been shaped by the stories of her ancestors: brave, resilient women who have lived for generations on a capricious apple orchard in Vermont. Sorrow and her family take pride in their land and its strange history. Their offbeat way of living may be ridiculed by the townspeople--especially their neighbors, the Abrams family--but for the first eight years of her life, the orchard is Sorrow's whole world.

Then one winter night everything changes. Sorrow's sister Patience is tragically killed. Their mother suffers a mental breakdown. Sorrow is sent to live with her father in Miami, away from the only home she’s ever known.

Now sixteen, Sorrow's memories of her life in Vermont are maddeningly hazy; even the details of her sister's death are unclear. She returns to the orchard for the summer, determined to learn more about her troubled childhood and the family she left eight years ago. Why has her mother kept her distance over the years? What actually happened the night Patience died? Is the orchard trying to tell her something, or is she just imagining things?

The Memory Trees is a darkly magical novel about a mysterious family legacy, the bonds of sisterhood, and the strange and powerful ways we are shaped by the places we call home.