City of Hope and Ruin Coming on May 11!

In case you missed our teaser (and the April Fools precursor), you know we’ve got a book coming out next month! And by we, I mean specifically me and Siri, beside Turtleduck Press as a whole.

Ah, yes, the Sekrit Project isn’t so secret anymore.

So here’s the formal announcement. City of Hope and Ruin, the first book in what will be a TDP-wide shared world project, will be out on May 11.

Now, some of you will no doubt take note that we typically put books out on the first of our release months, and might wonder why we’ve chosen the 11th instead.

It’s simple, really. And it comes completely down to logistics.

You see, for this book we decided we wanted to try out preorders. From our preliminary research, it seemed like all you needed was to set the book up with the distributors. Easy peasy!

However, when we actually got on it, we discovered that you need to have the completed book ready for actual distribution considerably before the release date. Ten days early, in fact. Funny that.

So, because this is a new thing we’re trying, and because we would have given some of our contractors different deadlines had we known certain things, we’ve slid the deadline a bit. Just to make sure we have enough time to get everything done and perfect, and to make sure you guys get the best reading experience.

So, go! Read the excerpt! And when you’re done with …

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Introducing City of Hope and Ruin by Kit Campbell and Siri Paulson

Our apologies for yesterday. We saw the date and couldn’t resist. Here’s the real teaser excerpt, but first, a little intro…

Every night the monsters hunt.

A city that is the whole world: Theosophy and her companions in the City militia do their best to protect the civilians from the monsters, but they keep crawling from the Rift and there’s nowhere to run. Theosophy knows she’ll die fighting. It’s the best kind of death she’s seen, and at least she can save lives in the meantime.

They say the Scarred carve you up while you’re still alive.

A village in the shadow of a forest: Refugees from the border whisper about the oncoming Scarred, but Briony can’t convince her brother to relocate his children to safety. Briony will do anything to protect them. She owes them that much, even if it means turning to forbidden magic.

When Theosophy and Briony accidentally make contact across the boundaries of their worlds, they realize that solutions might finally be within reach. A world beyond the City would give Theosophy’s people an escape, and the City’s warriors could help Briony protect her family from the Scarred. Each woman sees in the other a strength she lacks—and maybe something more.

All they need to do is find a way across the dimensions to each other before their enemies close in.

 

Briony paused mid-step, realizing the forest was too quiet. Her heart jumped into her throat and she turned, expecting to …

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Sneak Peek of City of Hope and Ruin

Here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for…the unveiling of our next novel, City of Hope and Ruin by Kit Campbell and Siri Paulson! It’s a very serious novel and we’ve worked hard on it, so we hope you like this teaser. Enjoy.

 

Hello, traveler. My name is Edvarda, and I once saved this village using only a broom. You might not believe it, but it’s true.

Evidence? Hah. It was just a common household broom, well used over the years and long gone now. My hands were burned in the doing, but they have mostly healed long ago. I live a quiet life, tucked away in this little village by the fjord, grandmother to all. But what I do have are stories. Talking is thirsty work, though….

Why, thank you, kind master. A cup of mead is most appreciated by an old lady such as myself, and loosens the tongue most wonderfully. Settle in, settle in. I hope you have nowhere to be, for a tale will not be rushed.

I had a husband then, but he was off at war, like our half-grown son and all the other men of the village. So I spent my days fishing in the fjord, tending the garden, and trying not to think about the fighting. It almost worked, too – until the day I have in mind.

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3 Things I’ve Learned from the Sekrit Project

Siri’s and my co-written novel continues to be in the front of our minds as we finish up our edit (the book’ll be out in May!), so bear with us for just a little longer. Next month we might actually talk about something else! Though I make no guarantees.

The sekrit project (as we’ve dubbed the novel) has proven to be eye-opening in many ways. I’ve had to plot, write, and edit differently than usual. It’s been a long time since I wrote with someone else, and rarely with the level of coordination that this has entailed. So, before I jump back in (I’m ~66% of the way through my parts), here’s 3 things I’ve learned from working on this project.

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In the Throes of Editing

Just a quick post today, lovelies, because Kit and I are still wrestling bears editing our novel for your future reading delight. I’ll be honest: it’s been a really tough slog.

Not because I can’t take critique — I’ve been in critique groups for years, and have gotten past the initial defensive reaction. When someone like our awesome editor KD points out a problem, I listen. (And then decide whether the passage in question should be fixed in a different way, or should actually stay as is while I go fix something elsewhere that led to the perceived problem…)

Not because I can’t stand the thought of changing a word. I’ve long since gotten over the fear of messing up my first drafts. (I mean, first drafts are rough by nature, but there’s something raw and pure about them — that’s the way the story came out of your head, and it can be hard to contemplate making it different. But first drafts aren’t canon. Or maybe they are, and second drafts are the fanfiction that seeks to improve upon them? Good grief, I think it’s too late in the day for analogies.)

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Hey Hey, We Won the Super Bowl

In a break from our normal subject matter here, I’m going to talk about football.

You can’t escape it around here these days. You see, we (meaning me, Kit, and the rest of Colorado) won the Super Bowl on Sunday. Well, the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl. I did very little to help.

Super Bowl 50!

I don’t want to tell you how old I was when we last won in 1999.

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Co-Writing for Fun and Profit

Didja miss me? Well, too bad…I’m back!

Today I’d like to share a bit about Turtleduck Press’s next novel (title and cover art forthcoming in due time). Kit and I have both talked in this space about the fact that we’re co-writing, but we haven’t gone into any detail about the experience…until now.

It’s not Kit’s first time co-writing a novel; I’ve done it before too, but not for many many years. And I’ve blogged before about having a major crisis of faith as a writer last year. So I was a little apprehensive about how it would go.

In fact, it’s been quite a smooth process — at least as smooth as novel writing ever is! It’s helped immensely to have somebody to bounce ideas off, to trade chapters with (we each wrote one point of view, in alternating chapters), to keep each other motivated. Having two minds to work on the worldbuilding and plotting has not meant that we’ve each done half as much work as on a solo novel, but it’s certainly helped — I think we’ve done a better job on this story than either of us could have on our own.

Luckily, we’re on a similar — though not identical — wavelength when it comes to planning. We did a pile of worldbuilding first (it’s a fantasy novel, more or less), then identified our respective characters and wrote some sample chapters. Those went out the window and we started over, with a clearer idea …

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Freedom!

So, as Siri talked about last month, we’ve been co-writing a novel which we’ve dubbed the Sekrit Project and have proceeded to infuriate everyone by keeping to the “secret” part of the name. And I am pleased to say that it’s more or less done, and is now in the pipeline for publication here at TDP. So it’s in the editing process, and I find myself free until we get comments back.

Free! ::kermit arms::

Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed writing this book. I enjoyed working with Siri. I did not so much enjoy the fact that we gave ourselves eight months to go from nothing to polished novel draft. In retrospect, that is obviously not enough time and I don’t know what we were thinking. But hooray! We did it! And I’m pleased with the story and hope everyone else likes it as much as I do.

But it is nice to have a little bit more leeway in what I’m working on at any point and not have a mad dash toward the finish line.

So what am I going to work on now?

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And Now, For Something From a Galaxy Far, Far Away

GUYS It’s Star Wars week! \o/ I am so excited and I am not really sure how I got here.

I mean, I’ve always been more of a Trekkie. Yes, I saw the original trilogy at a young age and I’ve seen them a fair amount of times since then. I even went through a phase in middle school (though, admittedly, driven by wanting to have something to talk about with a friend who was way more into it than I was) where I read a bunch of the EU (now, sadly not canon) novels.

(I also saw each of the prequels on opening night, each time, hoping against hope, that it would be a good experience. My parents always told me about seeing the original trilogy in the theaters, especially the first one, with the Star Destroyer coming in from overhead, and I guess on some level I was hoping to recreate that.)

So I’ve been kind of following what’s been happening in the Star Wars universe out of a vague, detached interest. It all seemed kind of inevitable, Disney buying the franchise (I mean, they’ve had that ride at DisneyWorld forever, right?) and J.J. Abrams directing the first new movie.

(Coincidentally, some members of the Trek community refer to Mr. Abrams as Jar Jar Abrams. Not in a nice way. And I would tell you why but then we’d never get out of here, so you’ll just have to extrapolate.)

And then they started filming, and then the …

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The Dreaded Middle

So Kit Campbell and I are working on a secret project for Turtleduck Press. It’s a novel that we’re co-writing, and you’ll hear more about it in due time, after it’s been made suitable for public consumption.

In the meantime, though, we’re wading through the first draft. Well, I can’t speak for Kit, but I’m wading. Or wallowing, maybe. I’ve passed the halfway point and am flailing around in the late middle, feeling rather as if I’m trapped in Zeno’s dichotomy paradox. I’m also fighting the deep-seated conviction that the story sucks (or my half of it, anyway — I’m not about to say that for Kit’s half!).

However, I’m not the only one. Check this out:

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