Em's place

Writing, anxiety-wrangling, tea.

The good, the bad and the scary

By Emma on March 6, 2015

A week today I will be in hospital, hopefully floating on the best post-operative drugs, with the surgery behind me. Yeah. More surgery. Last year’s hellish events weren’t satisfied with a standalone, they wanted a sequel. I just hope this medical crap isn’t going to go in for a trilogy.

I’m scared. No getting away from that. I’m a needle phobic at the best of times, have been for many years, and some terrible things happened regarding needles during one of my hospital stays last year that I still haven’t fully got over. So… yeah. Fun times.

But anyway, a few things have been happening that are much more interesting and happy than the impending doom, and seeing as I may just be too anxious to even string a sentence together for the rest of the hospital countdown, I thought I should write up some stuff.

Okay… first things first, there are only a handful of days left to submit your Hugo nominations and I’m going to come right out and say that Tea and Jeopardy is eligible for the Best Fancast category and we would of course be over the moon to be shortlisted again. You can find an index of previous episodes here.

Bestseller for a weekend!

Last weekend something kind of crazy happened: my short story collection From Dark Places went to the number one spot on Amazon in a couple of categories, including SFF anthologies and collections, all because the lovely Mr Paul Cornell tweeted about my upcoming surgery and invited lovelies online to buy the ebook version to help with lost earning time (I’m a freelancing writer and audio book narrator, so whilst I am lucky enough to benefit from our amazing NHS, these ongoing medical shenanigans do have a serious financial impact on our household). I was absolutely blown away by the love and best wishes, and wanted to thank everyone who bought the collection.

A new audio book

I had the pleasure of narrating an audiobook for Ghostwoods Books which has recently gone on sale, called Those Rosy Hours at Mazandaran. I loved this book. It was the most challenging I’ve ever narrated – there is even a bit where I have to sing a little bit in two different languages – but it was worth the hard work. It’s the first time I’ve worked with Ghostwoods Books and I have to say that it was an absolute joy. I am very impressed with how well they looked after me.

I found the prose evocative and sensual and the characters absolutely fascinating. It was so refreshing having a female protagonist who isn’t necessarily likeable but fully understandable. It’s hard to place in a pure genre category (like so many of the books I write and love to read too!) so I would call it historical fantasy with very dark romance and elements of horror (though more of the horrific rather than creepy or scary). I cannot recommend it highly enough, though I would like to warn you that there are some very dark themes and a scene containing sexual assault.

This is the blurb:
It begins with a rumor, an exciting whisper. Anything to break the tedium of the harem for the shah’s eldest daughter. People speak of a man with a face so vile, it would make a hangman faint, but a voice as sweet as an angel’s kiss. A master of illusion and stealth. A masked performer known only as Vachon. For once the truth will outshine the tales. On her birthday the shah gifts his eldest daughter, Afsar, a circus. With the circus comes a man who will change everything.

It’s available on Audible here and Amazon here.

Great things other people are doing

I gushed about this on Twitter and Facebook at the time, but I feel I should say it here too. I recently finished reading Guns of the Dawn by Adrian Tchaikovsky and you need to buy and read this book immediately. It is amazingly good. Like Sharpe but with a female lead and with sorcerers too. Cannot recommend it highly enough.

If you haven’t heard of Sarah McIntyre, there is a gap in your life. She is fabulous. She’s an illustrator (my son is a massive fan of her artwork in Oliver and the Seawigs and Cakes in Space, collaborations between Sarah and Philip Reeve (who wrote the incredible Mortal Engines books that you also must buy and read immediately if you haven’t already). Anyway, aside from phenomenal artistic talent and the most splendid hats in the northern hemisphere, Sarah is campaigning for better recognition for illustrators. I feel this is very important, and so this is a little signal boost for her campaign #picturesmeanbusiness on Twitter.

Oh, and that lovely Cornell chap has The Severed Streets out in paperback now and one of my favourite writerly friends, Adam Christopher, has just had an Elementary tie-in novel released called The Ghost Line.

vagrantLast, but by no means least, my husband Peter (AKA Latimer) had a nice package in the post yesterday: the gorgeous hardback of his debut novel The Vagrant, being published by Harper Voyager in April. Doesn’t it look wonderful? You can pre-order it, by the way, and it makes him bounce up and down and go all smiley which is a lovely thing to see. Book and pre-order details can be found here.

Well, I think that’s all for now. I’m hoping to get another Tea and Jeopardy made live before I go into hospital with another lined up for when I am laid up. In the meantime, sweetlings, stay frosty.

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{ 8 comments... read them below, or add one }

  1. Paul (@princejvstin) says:

    Stay frosty and best wishes for your surgery, Em.

  2. Dirk says:

    I hope things will go well for you. All my good thoughts, spoons, well wishes, appropriately delightful pieces of cake and everything good I can think of , go out to you.

  3. Clive says:

    Best wishes Em. Hope all goes well x

  4. Jeff Wooliscroft says:

    Sorry to hear about the continuing grief on the medical front; here’s hoping all goes well. I just hope the hospital does good cups of tea. Need a Red-Cross cake parcel?

    At the same time, good to hear some good news, not least the recent success of “From Dark Places” – I love that book. I have a horrifying lack of bookshelf-space, but that’s still on there!

    And, incidentally, I’d also recommend “The Severed Streets”.

  5. Fi Phillips says:

    Good luck with your surgery. Hope it’s all straightforward and done with quickly.

    I’m reading Between Two Thorns at the moment and loving it.
    Fi Phillips recently posted..Trailer Reveal: The Darkness Within by Kelly Hashway

  6. Hope all goes well Emma and that it’ll remain a duology. Sending you all the healing thoughts for next week. Huge hugs for you, Peter and the bean!
    Mieneke van der Salm recently posted..Blogger Query – Over The Effing Rainbow

  7. *hugs* all best wishes for the surgery and hope all goes well.

  8. Laura Lam says:

    Best of luck for your surgery, Em. I’m sure it’ll go well and I hope recovery is swift! xx

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