Em's place

Writing, anxiety-wrangling, tea.

Brother’s Ruin is out today!

By Emma on March 14, 2017

brothersruin_cover_hiresIf you’re in the mood for something a bit lighter than my usual fare, set in an 1850s London where magic, rather than science, is responsible for the industrial revolution, then you’re in luck! (Okay, that’s pretty unlikely but hopefully it has whet your appetite.) The first gaslamp fantasy novella in the Industrial Magic series, Brother’s Ruin, is out on sale now.

The thing I am most excited about is the fact that Gail Carriger, an amazing author who I have been a huge fan of since devouring the Parasol Protectorate series, said this about Brother’s Ruin: “A gripping story full of charm and adventure. Newman manages to keep her readers tense and delighted at the same time.” I think the squeal I made when I first saw that quote might have been heard on the other side of the planet, so if that shriek worried you, I’m really sorry.

Gaslamp fantasy is a new genre for me (though I confess I had no idea that the story I’d written would be classed as that until I saw Tor.com’s description!), and Brother’s Ruin is set in a new world with new characters. I had great fun writing this and the next in the series and I have ideas for several more adventures with Charlotte Gunn which I hope I get to write.

Of course, the likelihood of more novellas in the series being approved is all entirely dependent on sales, so if you fancy giving it a try, you can buy it at all your usual booksellers (like Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK and Amazon US, Forbidden Planet, Wordery, Waterstones, and the Book Depository). And if you like it, a review, a tweet about it or even just a ‘hey, you might like this too!’ to a friend will go a long way to securing your place in the hallowed halls of… no, wait, I mean it will go a long way to securing my undying gratitude. Yes, that’s it. After all, I doubt bribing my editor, the lovely Lee Harris, with chocolate and tea will get very far when it comes to buying more in the series.

In other news…

I’ve been rather absent online of late, thanks to major house renovations going on at the moment, coupled with a book deadline. They go so well together. So much fun.

In all seriousness, things are brilliant but also pretty stressful at the moment. That’s why I neglected to mention on here that Roc have bought another two books in the Planetfall universe. The next one, called Before Mars, will be out in April 2018. Here’s the official announcement .

Speaking of Mars…

I was on Radio 4 the other day, talking about Mars funnily enough. I’m only on for about 30 seconds or so, but the program is very interesting and the entire Mars set of programs are brilliant. You can find the one I’m in here and my snippet starts at 11.58 minutes in. I really recommend listening to the others in the series too.

But anyway…

Brother’s Ruin is out now! Yay! You can go and meet Charlotte Gunn and follow her adventures, perhaps with a nice cup of tea and a slice of cake. You can read more about it, along with links to where you can buy and see some reviews on the Brother’s Ruin page.

How Pete feels this morning…

By Emma on February 9, 2017

There’s a bit too much happening at Casa Newman at the moment…

P.S. In case you missed it, we recently released a Tea and Jeopardy blooper reel.

Eligibility and reflection

By Emma on January 17, 2017

It’s that time of year when various awards open their nomination period, triggering the annual calls for creators to share a list of their eligible works, creators fretting about whether this is crass and the inevitable declarations from someone who says it is and then an exhausting week of arguing about it.

Thankfully I was bundled in blankets, hacking up my lungs at the time, so I mostly missed that. Hence my late arrival at the offering table, ready to present my platter with shaking hands and the hope that this is more useful than crass.

Here are my eligible works for any 2016 awards:

After Atlas (Sci-fi crime novel, published November 2016 by Roc.)

The Unkindest Cut (Historical fantasy novelette (14,000 words approx. Published March 2016 by Abaddon Books)

A Little Knowledge (Urban fantasy novel, the 4th book in the Split Worlds series, Published August 2016 by Diversion Books)

Tea and Jeopardy (Podcast, many episodes released over 2016!)

Special note: This year there is an additional Hugo Award category for Best Series. The Split Worlds series is eligible for this award, as it meets the following criteria: “A multi-volume science fiction or fantasy story, unified by elements such as plot, characters, setting, and presentation, appearing in at least three (3) volumes consisting in total of at least 240,000 words by the close of the previous calendar year, at least one volume of which was published in the previous calendar year.” (From http://www.thehugoawards.org/hugo-history/2017-hugo-awards/) If you haven’t read the series, now is a great time to dive in as the Kindle edition of Between Two Thorns (Book 1) is only £2.49!

A tiny bit of reflection

I’m not one for looking back these days. I’m too busy looking forwards. However, I do want to take a moment to catch my breath and talk about 2016 because it was, quite frankly, utterly bizarre. I have never lived through such a frightening, awful and despair-generating year of political news. However, in contrast, on a personal level, it was the most successful year for me in terms of writing and audio book narration.

Over 2016 I did the following:

Narrated 9 audio books
Wrote 2 novels
Edited a third novel
Wrote two novellas (together they are the length of a novel)
Co-wrote and participated in the Split Worlds Masked Ball LARP
Wrote the first 10K words on [redacted]
Made lots of Tea and Jeopardy episodes and the 2016 advent calendar
Had a couple of really good successes that I can’t talk about yet!
Launched two novels
Did a few conventions
Played some AWESOME D&D
Rediscovered LARP and joined my first fest LARP and got to grips with camping!
Started to get involved with local politics (I realised that getting enraged by the news and social media was just going to make me ill. Getting out there and learning how I can actually do something about it takes just as much energy but might actually make things better!)

It’s not a coincidence that this was a year in which I did not have major surgery, complications from major surgery, bereavement nor serious illness in the family, all of which marred the previous three years.

But… by the end of the year, I was utterly exhausted. The deadlines for some of those projects were really tight and really stressful, and there was a lot of juggling and quite simply, I worked too hard. Even as I write this, I wonder if I really believe it is possible for me to work too hard, but even I reached my limit last year. For the last 4 months of the year I was pretty much constantly pushing through exhaustion, doing very little else than work and depending on chocolate and other sweets to give me the energy to carry on.

Not sustainable.

So this year (which is shaping up to be pretty damn busy and exciting too!) I am making a conscious effort to pay more attention to self care. I knew I would fall ill some time around Christmas, it was inevitable, and I lost two weeks of January to it. I am trying not to be stressed and upset about that, and taking steps to make sure I don’t get that exhausted again. I find this hard, but I am trying to see my body as something more than a meat-sack to which my mind is inconveniently tethered. If I don’t care for it, then the mind won’t have something to be tethered to, and all these books in my head won’t get written, right? I’m being flippant, but you get the idea!

So, onwards and upwards. I hope that 2017 is kind to you.

A launch and a challenge

By Emma on November 21, 2016

In case you missed it, my latest sci-fi novel, After Atlas was recently launched at Forbidden Planet in London. (You can buy a signed copy of it as a result! Limited stock and FP do post internationally.) The event was wonderful and lots of people braved the awful rain to come, for which I am very grateful.

Once the signing was over, a few of the attendees stayed on and volunteered to do a mannequin challenge before we headed off for milkshakes and the video of it is below. It’s just something silly that I wanted to do as a memento. Thankfully you can’t see my face because it was so damn hard to keep frozen for thirty seconds or so and I was struggling not to giggle throughout. Everyone else did an amazing job though! Big thanks to Spindles of the Wonky Spanner podcasting network for filming and editing it. Oh and don’t worry – there’s deliberately no sound.

This might help

By Emma on November 8, 2016

Scary things are happening today. For all of us: the US Presidential Election. For me: the release of my latest novel, After Atlas.

I thought this might help


Please be kind to each other today. And if you’re able to, please vote.

Em xx

P.S. Info on After Atlas
P.P.S. There’s a launch event at Forbidden Planet, London, Saturday 12th 1pm. I’d love to see you there if you can make it!