It Transpires that I Am Writing a Book

Also, it’s in that awkward beginning stage where I absolutely can’t talk about it in any practical sense because it’s still only a delicate collection of impressions and ideas and assorted sentences and characters I barely know.

It’s still basically an ugly little grub just waiting to turn into something fancy—as in, Tess and Maggie have seen approximately one page, and Editor Jocelyn has seen none of it at all.

However, because I’m really bad about always wanting to share all the things I’m excited about, I think I’ve worked out a way to kind of act it out in sounds and pictures without really giving anything away.

Hint One:

I talked about it a teeny-tiny bit over on the Penguin Tumblr a few weeks ago and said exactly this:

“A macabre adventure in the Southern Gothic style, filled with magic, danger, family legacies, and romance in the most sweeping, traditional sense of the word.”

Which tells you what it is, and also nothing at all. So I’ve compiled some additional clues.

Hint Two:

Here is the first song on my new Book Four playlist

(Also, another half-hint is that I’m totally lyrics-focused, so the words to this song will tell you more about the book than the general sound will. Although that kind of fits too.)

Hint Three:


low water bridge


tiny church

(All photos courtesy of Little Sister Yovanoff and our enduring fascination with road trips.)

(Make of this what you will.)

17 thoughts on “It Transpires that I Am Writing a Book

  1. Thanks for sharing, I’m already excited to hear more about this new book! Personally, I love that beginning stage of a new story where it’s all just atmosphere and vague feelings and random pictures in your head. There’s something beautiful and mysterious and exciting about all of the possibility.

    • Oh, I am all about the possibility stage! When everything is still all wobbly and amorphous, that’s when I enjoy myself the most (possibly because the hardcore revision stage is the part where real, scary, unrelenting work comes in, so …).

  2. I am excited for this! I just finished reading The Replacement for the second time yesterday when I was travelling. I’m looking forward to reading more of your work! Also we share a first name so every time I look at the cover of one of your books it’s weird!

    • Hahaha—I remember that growing up, no one ever had my name, and you could never get refrigerator magnets or personalized toothbrushes or tiny license plates with it (not that this was something I coveted, I just felt resentful that I *couldn’t*). Now sometimes I hear people call my name and I turn around and realize they’re talking to an eight-year-old.

  3. I love this post, because no matter what I envision from these photographs it won’t come close to what’s brewing in your imagination, hehe! What an exciting time for you! Can’t wait to see if you’ll post more updates. Until then, I’ll just be here pining away for the release of THE CURIOSITIES. :D

    • it won’t come close to what’s brewing in your imagination

      Well, thank you :D (Although honestly, if you just picture the main part of whatever I’m talking about, and then mentally add some blood and some odd, creepy knick-knacks, you’ll usually get close.)

      Also, are you in the US? If so … the release date turned out to actually be way earlier than what we told everybody. Which means that as far as I know, The Curiosities has already started shipping from the warehouse!

    • Sometimes I forget that places like that exist.

      Honestly, I do too—and I even used to live there! And this way, it’s like I’m starting with a place that already seems magical all on its own :D

      • They’re almost spiritual looking. The sort of places that make you want to go hunting for something vague and undefined.

        God . . . I need to get out more. :)

  4. Book four already! I feel like you just came out with THE REPLACEMENT, time is moving too fast! Looking forward to this new mysterious thing :) But I’m curious– how do you get a book from the nascent, impressionistic stage to the This Is An Actual Draft That I Will Allow People To See stage? Do you just keep writing scenes and seeing what happens, or work according to a rough outline, or what? Do you know for certain how it ends before you start?

    • Book four already! I feel like you just came out with THE REPLACEMENT

      You and me both! Even though I typically understand that time is passing quite steadily, it still always feels like no time at all …

      I don’t know that I have a perfect answer to your question, because it early drafts, I seem to do a lot of muddling through, while other writers I know are more organized and sure of the story. I don’t tend to outline until I have most of a first draft already done (or, as I like to call it, the Zero Draft). As far as the ending, I usually try to have a very general sense, as in “These two characters probably wind up together,” or “And then there’s chaos and noise and something on fire.” Other than that, most of my true, final story gets figured out in later drafts (although the characters tend to stay the same).

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