One Good, One Bad, One SHINY!

The Good

Hey, remember that time I made a heart out of red velvet cake and cream cheese and lots and lots of delicious cherry-based gore?

Also, remember how it was a contest?

Well! I am deeply honored to have Won a Prize, which recently arrived in the mail, and which I have posed with some lemon sandwich cookies for best effect:


Many million thanks to all my fellow Creepy Cake N Bakers—and special thanks to Dawn Metcalf and Stacey Jay , for not only organizing the whole thing, but for presenting me with this delightful Bride of Frankenstein trophy!

The Bad

Okay, I’ll be the first to say that this past week has had way more than its fair share of awesome (like, oh, The Space Between hitting shelves). However, I immediately (sadly) complicated it/screwed it all up by blowing out my ACL. Which explains both my spotty internet presence and the fact that I have been uncommonly cranky—sorry, friends and family! (And Most Especially D.)

Right now, some of you may be saying, “Really, Brenna? Again? You managed to break yourself yet again? Aren’t you getting too old for these kind of hijinks? Also, you are a writer and your whole entire job revolves around sitting at a computer, which is markedly not-dangerous. Okay, you know what? Fine, whatever, I’ll humor you. How exactly did this happen?”*

To which I will reply that much like every injury I’ve ever sustained, it was purely the result of me being entirely too optimistic about my own physical capabilities. Also, soccer.

So, I’m currently the proud owner of two crutches and one full-leg brace.

Here is me looking askance at them.


I plan to defeat them with my stoic-yet-plaintive stare. Also, being rigorous about my physical therapy.


Now for something much, much happier! As you may or may not know,** The Space Between is officially titled Smoulder in the UK, and here is definitive and sparkly proof:


Smoulder is scheduled to come out next month, and even though it has a different name, in all important ways, it’s the very same book as The Space Between. (Except that characters will sometimes walk on pavements instead of sidewalks. Pavements? Is that the plural? Or is it all just one big pavement?)

And that’s the story of my post-TSB week!

*Only, I don’t actually think you sound aggressive or judgmental. I’m really just channeling myself. As you can see, myself is cranky.

**If you don’t know, it’s my fault. Because I never told you.

Guess What Day it Is!

Actually, that’s kind of ridiculous—I won’t make you guess.

So, for anyone who has not been listening to me yammer on incessantly for months, it is Space Between Day!


And to celebrate, I went out this morning and signed some books at my favorite local bookstore, the Tattered Cover . (Colfax location, for anyone who’s in the area and interested in snagging a copy.)

Also, D documented the event for posterity, so here I am signing copies with a vague, slightly worried look that has nothing to do with my feelings (elated) and everything to do with my Thinking Face looking kind of similar to other people’s Oh, Is it Monday Already? Face.

Signing TSB stock

TSB stock 2

See? It is proven! The Space Between has gone out into the world. And now, I am here on my couch, just smiling, smiling, smiling!

My Book Is Fancy!

By which I mean, this trailer is fancy:

And lush and moody and perfect!

And reminds me that The Space Between comes out one week from today.

Which is kind of terrifying.

I did not mean this to be the shortest post ever. But it is. However, if you’re in the mood for something longer, I did just write a brand new Merry Fates story. It’s about vampires. Yes, really.

Finished Copy Winners!

Once again, you guys have come through with some fantastic answers to a complicated (and honestly very personal) question. I’m so impressed to see the range and depth of things that people in the world are doing to help others, and I really loved reading your stories, so thank you.

Our two US winners of the finished Space Between copies are:




And our international winner is:


(I’ll be in touch for mailing addresses)

Also, I just looked at the calendar and The Space Between will officially be out in the US in 21 days.

Which is three weeks.

Which is so, so close.

I’m thinking that we still have time for one more contest before TSB is released into the wild, so be sure to check back. I’m going to be at AASL in Minneapolis all this weekend-plus-Monday, talking to librarians,* but I promisepromisepromise to come up with something, even if I don’t have a chance to post it until I get home, so keep your eyes open!

And you guys? We’re almost there. My red, red book is almost on shelves.

(Thanks for sticking with me.)

*Basically one of my favorite pastimes.

The Second Space Between Contest

It’s that time again—the time when you tell me something interesting about yourselves and in return, I drop your names into the randomizer and give you books!

This time around, I have two ARCs of The Space Between, plus two signed (and only slightly crumpled) dust jackets—so, four winners total. And yes, because this is an ARC contest, again it is US only.*

TSB dust jacket 2

(See the pretty dust jacket? Well, it looks even better in person.)

So, the contest:

Daphne, the main character in The Space Between has a deep fascination with earthly minutia. She loves fireworks and paper lanterns and costume jewelry. She collects all kinds of tiny useless artifacts, because to her, they represent a whole uncharted world—a world she wants to understand, even if it’s only a piece at a time.

Now, what I want you to do:

  1. On your blog/Facebook/Twitter, tell me about some item of YOURS—some trinket or souvenir that might seem minor, but that means a lot to you. Again, it can be anything—a cardboard crown or a ticket stub or a photograph or a seashell. It can be strange, or precious, or totally unremarkable to anyone but you. Tell me broadly, or tell me in detail. I like hearing about you, so as usual, this will be as easy or as complicated as you make it.
  2. When talking about your memento, include a link back to the contest so that other people can play too.
  3. Comment on this post and tell me where I can see your answer. Again, make it easy. Most of the entries I got last time were perfect, but a few defeated me. If you link to Facebook or Twitter and I can’t see it, what happens? All together now—your name doesn’t go in the randomizer!**
  4. Do this before midnight Eastern time on Sunday, October 2nd. (Six days is totally enough time, so spread the word!)

I’ll announce winners next Monday, but until then, I look forward to learning about you!

*Again to my international friends: ARCs are technically supposed to stay in their country of origin, but I’m currently waiting on my finished copies. They should be here imminently and then I can start giving them away. To anyone. And that means you!

**I’m really not this mean. Please don’t make me be mean.

An Embarrassing Admission and a Video

As much as it pains me to say it, I’m very bad with time.

Which is not the same as being irresponsible or late for appointments. No, I’m quite punctual and at least marginally capable of sticking to a schedule. However, despite all that, I have an appallingly bad sense of how much time is actually passing. I mean, it is shocking.

For instance, if you ask me about some bygone event (nothing fancy—it can be just about anything), I will almost certainly tell you that it happened “last week.” Even if the event in question happened yesterday or last month or a year ago.

And this phenomenon is not limited to the past. I never know how soon anything is, so everything is always sneaking up on me and taking me by surprise. Sometimes quite aggressively.

Which is why, even though I had tons of lead time and advance notice and I knew it was going to happen, I completely failed to tell you that the paperback edition of The Replacement came out last Tuesday. Because I totally thought it didn’t come out for another month.

But also.

Also—and this is where things get bad—in addition to the other forgetting, I also forgot to tell you that Penguin included the first two chapters of The Space Between as a teaser at the back.

Which means that people could technically be reading those first two chapters right now. Had I alerted people to their availability.

So, in light of this pretty egregious oversight, I made you a video. Because I’m excited and celebratory and deeply sorry for my lack of planning and I want you to at least hear the first page, and I don’t even care that my webcam makes me look like a ghost.*

*And also, I appear to be missing selective portions of my eyebrows.

The First Space Between Contest

What I have:


A whole stack of shiny red ARCs, and this week, I will be giving away two. Two ARCs of The Space Between! And yes, because this is an ARC contest, sadly it is US only.*

In the past, the (rare) contests I’ve done have always been very easy—easy for you, easy for me. I’m going to keep it that way, but I have to warn you, I’m slowly becoming more ambitious so today we’re going to try something a little different.

What I’m thinking:

Daphne, the main character in The Space Between is a very earnest, very whimsical girl who just happens to come from a dark, complicated place. Which, let’s be honest, makes for some excellent theme song fodder.

Today, Daphne’s theme song is “Four Winds” by Bright Eyes, which features sincerity, a lot of Yeats-ian imagery, and an ominously upbeat fiddle. (Also, the drummer in the official video could totally be one of Daphne’s sisters. Just so you know.)

Now, what I want you to do:

  1. On your blog/Facebook/Twitter, tell me what YOUR theme song would be. Your answer can be silly. It can be shocking or heartfelt or painfully obvious. It doesn’t matter if no one agrees or everyone agrees, or if they will agree just as soon as you explain yourself. It does not matter if your theme song will probably change next week. This will be as easy or as complicated as you make it.
  2. When sharing your song, include a link back to the contest so that other people can get in on the fun.
  3. Comment on this post and tell me where I can see your answer. Make this easy on me, people. If you link to your Facebook account and I can’t see it, your name is not going in the randomizer, okay?**
  4. Do this before midnight Eastern time on Sunday the 28th. (That gives you almost a week.)

I’ll announce winners next Monday, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

*Sorry, international friends. I’m told that ARCs are really supposed to stay in the country where that edition of the book is going to be sold. However, it will be a different story once I get finished copies. Those can go to anyone!

**I sound so . . . draconian. But I do really mean it—please be helpful. Please.

One More Time With Feeling

Today is the 15th, which, do you know what that means?

It means that The Space Between comes out in exactly three months. Exactly. I mean, it’s like I have a calendar in my head.

I know for a fact that I wasn’t nearly so hyper-aware when The Replacement was coming out—it was too intimidating, or else, too new. I think I was in a fugue state where I just tuned it out and pretended really hard it wasn’t happening.

And now that I’m not doing that anymore? It’s honestly kind of nice. I keep finding myself wanting to share things! (And this is notable, because I am sometimes quite a bad sharer.)

I’ve said it many times, but I’m not a person who writes to silence. I can’t. I need the movement and the background noise, I need coffee shops and music and chaos. But mostly the music. It occurs to me that a lot of times, the way I choose my songs is by sorting through all the lyrics and finding parallels to the stories or the characters I’m writing about.

Okay, I know, I know—I’m constantly foisting Regina Spektor on you, but I can’t stop, because I just find her ridiculously charming, and her voice—it is so, so sweet!

This is Truman’s* theme. Or at least, one of them. Everyone gets more than one theme-song, but I’m resisting the urge to overcomplicate things, so today this is his. Because there is nothing I like better than when things are tragic and kind of whimsical at the same time.

*In The Space Between, Truman is the male lead. I would say hero, except you know me—you know about my fascination with dysfunction. You know I don’t do heroes.

Look at These Things I Have!

1) I just found out last week that The Replacement made Booklist’s Top 10 for YA Horror. Because I have a ridiculous love of all things horror, and have wanted nothing more than to be a “horror writer” since childhood, this is basically the most excellent news ever.

2) I have real, actual ARCs of The Space Between, and this week, I’ll be giving one away over on Merry Fates.

Space Between ARC!

We’re having a prompt contest, and also a very important announcement about the future of the Merry Fates blog, which you can see here.

3) Also, this is semi-related to point number two, but my sample dust jackets for The Space Between came in the mail today and they’re really, really pretty—covered in embossing and a metallic effect that looks like steel or antique silver, and I can’t stop touching the filigree because it’s bumpy.

There aren’t finished copies yet, but for the sake of having a good solid visual aid, here is a hardback of The Replacement wearing a dust jacket that does not belong to it:

TSB dust jacket 3

And the back flap:

TSB inside flap

This book is getting so real, you guys!

I ♥ Librarians!

Whew! So, I’m back from ALA—and first of all, I just have to say that while I’ve loved librarians devotedly for pretty much my whole life, in the wake of ALA, my love for them now far outstrips what it was even a week ago.

About the conference: this was the first time I’ve been to a big industry event, and let me tell you, ALA was BIG. The convention center in New Orleans should have its own zip code.

(In fact, although I started this line of speculation fully intending it to be facetious, the convention center may actually have its own zip code. )

There are a lot of things that made ALA a really excellent place to be, including delicious food and stellar company, but the highlight of the trip is the fact that on Saturday, I had a chance to sign ARCs of THE SPACE BETWEEN, and I have to say, it was one of those completely inexpressible experiences. And naturally, because it is inexpressible, I will try to articulate it . . . now.

Okay, wait. I’m actually going to back up and start by saying this: writing books is weird. I mean, there are a lot of different things that make it weird, but right now what I mean is that writing books is weird because a book takes a long time to write and you work on it every day for months and sometimes years, and you obsess about the book and you dream about it and breathe it, and even after all that, it can still feel like a very hypothetical thing.

Like the Velveteen Rabbit,* a book takes a certain amount of unconditional love and quiet suffering in order to become real. You have to soldier on and have faith that if you just keep going, your ideas will eventually be transformed into something actual. But you never quite know what that first acute moment of realness is going to be.

For instance, the moment The Replacement felt real—really-real, I mean—wasn’t when I sold it or revised it or did my copyedits or any of that. It was when I walked outside to find a package on the steps and when I opened it, discovered that I was holding an ARC in my hands. The book was right there, in my hands. And suddenly, it became undeniable.

So for The Space Between, I sincerely thought that I’d already had my real-book experience, because I’d gotten my ARCs right before I left for ALA (and they are so, so pretty, which certainly contributes to it being a very Real Thing). But my assumption turned out to be distinctly not-true. Not to get too convoluted, but it was still hypothetical realness that I was passing off as genuine in my own head.

Instead, my first really-real moment came last Saturday, when I showed up to sign at the Penguin booth, and was both humbled and ecstatic to find a contingent of bloggers and librarians already lining up to get their copies. Suddenly, it occurred to me that other people were not only aware of The Space Between but watching it expectantly, waiting for it to stand up and say something. Which, I will admit, kind of bowled me over.

I signed ARCs. I talked to people about the story. I tried to act normal and like the whole situation wasn’t just incredibly surreal. I think I mostly succeeded. Mostly. Because I still can’t stop thinking about this: it is entirely possible that there are librarians out in the world reading about Daphne—my Daphne—right now!

Which is very . . . actual.

(And that is the story of how The Space Between stopped being a toy rabbit and became a real book.)

*If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I won’t take up unnecessary space by explaining it in mind-numbing detail here, but please read it. Because it is a much-loved cornerstone of my childhood. And also a Real Book.