Em's place

Writing, anxiety-wrangling, tea.

Two birthdays in one day!

By Emma on August 2, 2016

A-Little-Knowledge-coverSo today sees me turn 40 but MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY also sees the book birthday of A Little Knowledge, the fourth novel in the Split Worlds series.

YAY!

It’s available to buy in all sorts of places but I’ll link to a few below to set you off on your way. (There will be an audio edition, but I don’t have a release date for that yet.) If you can help me to spread the word about it, that would be brilliant. I’m tempted to say something cheeky about the best birthday present being buying A Little Knowledge, but I can’t quite bring myself to do it 😉

Anyway, I’m off to spend the day roleplaying, which is quite frankly the best way for me to celebrate turning 40! If you’re one of the many people who’ve waited a long time for this book, I hope you enjoy it!

A few places you can buy A little Knowledge

In the UK

Amazon PaperbackKindle edition

The Book Depository (free worldwide postage)

In the US

Barnes and Noble – Paperback Nook

Amazon PaperbackKindle

iBooks

A Little Knowledge and A Lot of Years

By Emma on July 4, 2016

Good grief. It’s July. JULY?! I have neglected the blog, but for the very best reasons: work and LARP, mostly. There’s all sorts of things going on, so I’m going to whizz through them and then show you some amazing photos, okay? Actually, let’s get one of the photos up here right away, to whet your appetite.

Lord Poppy, picture by Tom Garnett

Lord Poppy, picture by Tom Garnett

 

That’s a picture of Lord Poppy from the Masked Ball LARP that took place in May. Doesn’t he look amazing? But anyway, I’ll come back to that later.

A-Little-Knowledge-cover

A Little Knowledge

The 4th book in the Split Worlds series will be released in less than a month! HOORAY! It’s been such a long wait and I am so excited to be able to release the next part of the series into the world! The launch date is August 2nd and it’s being published by the wonderful Diversion Books, who have also re-launched the first three books with gorgeous covers (I have been so lucky with covers!) You can pre-order it on Amazon and the Book Depository, but if you are free on August 5th, there is a party and book launch happening at The Mitre in Oxford. You can see all the details on Facebook. The actual launch is at 8pm, but we’ll be there from 4pm for board gaming, yarning etc. Oh… and the other bit…

A Lot of Years

‘A Little Knowledge’ comes out on my birthday – my 40th, no less! So that party on the 5th is also to celebrate the fact I’ve somehow managed to stagger my way into my fourth decade with all limbs intact. It sounds far too grown up for my liking. Makes me sound like I should be a responsible adult or something.

Bits and pieces

Oh, before I forget, I’m delighted to announce that Planetfall is this month’s Reddit book club book! And After Atlas, my next sci-fi novel, is available to pre-order from all sorts of places.

Tea and Jeopardy has been ticking along too, I just keep forgetting to post about it here. If you go to www.teaandjeopardy.com, you can find all the episodes there. All 55 of them! And the two sets of advent calendars. Blimey.

I will be a guest of honour at Edge-Lit on July 16th in Derby, so if you are going, I will see you there!

Some nice news

Did I tell you that I’ve signed with Tor.com for two novellas? The first is called Brother’s Ruin and you can read the announcement here.

The Split Worlds Masked Ball LARP

I planned to write this part of the post about 6 weeks ago, but then I was in the recording studio a lot (recording 5 audio books no less!), had a novella to write and I also started playing another LARP, so time has been squeezed.

Before the ball, I ran a competition for forfeits and I am belatedly announcing the winner! The prize is a prop from the ball that is also featured in ‘A Little Knowledge’ so it is something I hope will really excite the winner, Matt Dillon, who sent in: “Attempt to seduce the Censor of Aquae Sulis using your vast knowledge (imagined or otherwise) of cheese.” The reason I picked this one was because it created an amazing conversation in the game which I still laugh about almost 2 months later whenever I remember it. The player who was unlucky enough to draw the forfeit made a valiant effort and it was so hard not to laugh at the time (I played the Censor of Aquae Sulis) as I knew exactly why it was happening out of character. Thanks Matt! I will be in touch privately to arrange where to send it.

I wanted to share some of the photos from the Split Worlds Masked Ball LARP and to publicly thank Katie Logan and the crew – and the players! – for making it such a fantastic success. Katie runs the amazing Tumblr Ladies Who LARP which I wholeheartedly recommend.

Apparently, the Masked Ball LARP has made history as the first ever LARP run in the universe of an ongoing book series (with the author in the GM team) in which the players can alter events in later books and carry out actions that become canon. And even more exciting; because of it being a first, an academic paper is being written on the event!

I could gush for DAYS about the ball. It was, quite simply, one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. I think I’ll leave you with some of my favourite photos (so hard to choose as the photographers Beth Dooner and Tom Garnett did such an amazing job) in the hope that they’ll convey a taste of that event’s magic. (There are already some photos of the Censor of Aquae Sulis here.)

One of the highlights of the ball was a duel between Nathaniel Reticulata-Iris (in the white shirt) and [redacted to avoid spoilers for book 5!] You can click on these to see a larger version.

Duel_hiRes

It was all very tense… Picture by Tom Garnett

 

Picture by Tom Garnett

Of course, the photos don’t convey the gasps of the crowd (there was even a swoon I think!), nor the vicious insults being exchanged by the duellists! Picture by Tom Garnett

 

Picture by Beth Dooner

Everyone knows that Nathaniel is the best swordsman in Albion, right? Picture by Beth Dooner

Picture by Beth Dooner

Princess Rani was there, in all her regal glory. Readers met her very, very briefly in Between Two Thorns, but you’ll be seeing more of her in A Little Knowledge… Picture by Beth Dooner

Picture by Beth Dooner

Here’s another picture of Lord Poppy. Did I mention how beautiful he was? Picture by Beth Dooner

Picture by Tom Garnett

And here is the last picture taken on the night. I think a few players aren’t in this shot, but it’s the vast majority of us all and the wonderful, wonderful crew who played all the NPCs. Picture by Tom Garnett

There are literally dozens of amazing shots, I wish I could share them all! Suffice it to say we made a sliver of the Split Worlds real that night. Ahhhh, LARP. How I love thee.

The Masked Ball – Costume Edition

By Emma on May 16, 2016

The Split Worlds Masked Ball LARP took place just over a week ago and it’s taken that long to find my way back to the real world! It was a fantastic success and I will be posting more about it very soon. I played a character from the novels (a really awful woman!) who is the Censor of Aquae Sulis (Cathy’s aunt, if you’ve read the books!).

I have made the last video about the costume I created for the ball and you can see the completed costume below in the pictures from the ball. (Previous costume making posts: number 1, number 2 and number 3)

The Censor of Aquae Sulis

Here are some pictures in which you can see the costume, all taken by Tom Garnett. If you want to see a full-size version of each picture, simply click on it. It was such an amazing day!

The Censor of Aquae Sulis

The Censor of Aquae Sulis

 

Making an announcement (not singing!)

Making an announcement (not singing!)

 

A shocking moment!

A shocking moment!

 

More Split Worlds costume making updates!

By Emma on May 3, 2016

Here are two videos, the second of which is messed up for a section because I turned the phone the wrong way round – sorry! So pressed for time I can’t re-record.

There’s still time to enter the competition if you can’t come to the LARP!

And this one too (with the dodgy camera work – sorry!)

Get involved with the Split Worlds LARP!

By Emma on April 25, 2016

On the 7th of May, 2016, over seventy people will be donning costume and masks for the Split Worlds LARP taking place at the Guildhall in Bath.

I know there are many fans of the books who can’t make it to the ball, so I thought it might be nice to tell everyone a little bit about that evening, and also give you an opportunity to get involved, so you can enjoy it from afar.

The Last Ball of the Season

rsz_between-two-thorns-coverThe full day event involves workshops on etiquette, the Split Worlds universe, dancing and a few other things, a VIP tour of Bath locations featured in the books and also an in character afternoon tea during the day. Then in the evening there is the Last Ball of the Season, which is always a masked ball. If you’ve read Between Two Thorns, the first book in the series, you will have seen the first ball of the season play out on the pages. This LARP is set between books 3 and 4, and the Last Ball of the Season is one of the major highlights of the Aquae Sulis social calendar. It’s traditionally more raucous, more dangerous, and the Fae themselves are known to visit it on occasion. The rules are less strict than at other events, with an emphasis on fun and trying to get away with things more daring than usual. That’s partly the reason why it’s always a masked ball. After all, there will be many months before the next season begins, so memories have a chance to fade…

The players will be characters from the books, the Split Worlds short stories and new ones created especially for the game. They come from over ten different families, with status ranging from Patroon to those with barely any social currency at all. I will be playing the Censor of Aquae Sulis, Cathy’s aunt, and you can watch videos about my costume making process here.

It’s not just a masked ball though…

As part of the masked ball, a large vase is always placed in a prominent position, filled with dozens of folded pieces of paper. Written on each on is a challenge, akin to forfeits in Victorian parlour games. There’s only one rule: you cannot put a forfeit back in the vase: once you have chosen and read the forfeit, you (or someone you can persuade to do it for you) must do what is written on the piece of paper before it can be given to the Censor as proof of your daring.

The Censor herself has placed them in the case and will reward the person who has made her laugh the most with his or her performance of their forfeit. It’s a social dilemma: Some of them might be difficult or embarrassing. Do you dare attract her attention to watch your performance? If you daren’t risk doing what’s on the forfeit and persuade someone else to do it for you, they could steal the opportunity to gain the Censor’s approval from you.

Here’s where you can get involved

I thought it would be fun for the people who can’t come to the event to send in forfeits for the vase. The sender of the one the Censor enjoys the most at the ball will win a prop from the masked ball. I’m not going to reveal the prize now, as it would be a spoiler for the players, but it is something I think fans of the books – in particular fans of Cathy – will be excited about.

Here are some example forfeits to give you an idea of the sort of thing the Censor will be creating herself:

Sing a verse and chorus from a song you love
Recite a poem
Persuade the person nearest to you that you love them using only words, then show them the forfeit
Make a sound like a farmyard animal

To enter, simply put your forfeit in the comments below, making sure you put in the best email address to contact you on (these won’t be published anywhere public). Then you can see what everyone else has suggested so there are no duplicates. (If the comment form doesn’t play nicely with you, try the contact form instead.)

Some gentle rules:

Forfeits must not involve any sort of uninvited physical contact (i.e. grab a person from behind to make them scream)
Forfeits should be the sort of thing you’d be happy for a child to do at a party – i.e. nothing X-rated or involving very adult humour or swearing. (This is to ensure that I am not encouraging the players to do anything they would be very uncomfortable with in the real world.)

There will be lots of photos taken at the ball, and I will make sure that you get to see the vase and forfeits. We might be lucky and get some snaps of people carrying out the forfeits.

So, write your forfeit/s below (or via the contact form) – you can offer as many as you like – and good luck!

P.S. If you are a player, you cannot enter this competition I’m afraid, but please do encourage your friends to join in!