First note: I promise that the rest of the books in the Arcana series are still coming…more than were originally planned, actually. It’s been a weird year.
Second note: A few years ago I woke up with a sentence in my head: The city–she’s still burning. I wrote it down on the notepad program on my (ancient) flip phone, saved it, and forgot about it. When I finally upgraded phones about a year later, I found the little note to myself, and like a trigger had been pulled a vision came pouring into me of a burning, abandoned city…lit up by a parade of spectral beings.
The image and the words haunted me for months. I was enduring one of the most difficult years of my life, working a soulless job for soulless corporations, gradually dissolving into a me-shaped stain on a computer chair in a cubicle maze at the heart of a suburban office park. On top of that, I was making shit money working shit hours and I wasn’t writing.
But the words haunted me. The images haunted me. When I was too exhausted to focus on my miserable day job, I came up with fantastic scenarios to explain the imaginary burning city and the ghosts drifting through her streets. Characters came to me in full form, their dialogue as clear as my own voice. They were patient as I outlined, got it wrong, threw it out, and tried again. They were quiet, persistent, powerful. They were alive. And when that fateful day came that I was liberated (read: fired) from call center purgatory, the words flowed forth, as unstoppable as life itself.
Okay, so maybe that’s a bit of a dramatization. But it’s mostly true: this book has haunted me since I first dreamed of a burning, ghost-filled world all those many moons ago.
Ladies and gentlemen and others, I am so very, very, extraordinarily pleased to be announcing the upcoming publication of my third novel, a post-apocalyptic ghost story coming January 21, 2014:
Kiddo survives—it’s what she does best. And since the world ended, staying alive is a useful skill to have.
She and her found-sister, Princess, have created a home for themselves in the forest, and a refuge for the other children who survived the end. Hunting animals, harvesting herbs, treating wounds—this is what Kiddo remembers of her life Before, and little else.
But the young man they call the Saver claims to remember everything, even when the rest of the children who survived cannot. He speaks of what came Before when he leads the survivors to his island city, making promises of abundance and hope. But even the Saver’s memories can’t explain the wrongness of their world. They can’t explain why ghosts stream through the woods every night under the same full moon, or why there is a fire in the Burning End of the city that has blazed, unchanged, for nearly a decade.
Regardless of what the others believe, Kiddo knows one thing for certain: the city is going to sink someday. She can’t explain it—not without remembering. And since the world came to an end, taking memories and lives in equal measure, remembering is the one hardship Kiddo has not been forced to endure.
But the city wants Kiddo to remember: at the heart of the fire in the Burning End is a story that only Kiddo can tell—and only Kiddo can finish.
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So…what do you think? :D
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